Tomobe tied to shady cash deposit to politician

Investigators have learned that 50 million yen was deposited into the bank account of a Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly member who is believed to have introduced arrested lawmaker Tatsuo Tomobe to Shinshinto, informed sources said Mar. 11.

The assembly member, whose name is being withheld, reportedly received the money in November 1994. His aide deposited the cash into his account at a credit union in Kita Ward, Tokyo.

Police are investigating the case in line with their probe into the dubious way the largest opposition party ranked Tomobe on its list of proportional-representation candidates for the 1995 Upper House election. Tomobe, who is now under arrest for alleged fraud in connection with the Orange Kyosai Kumiai fund scandal, was elected to the Diet for the first time in the 1995 poll.

His second son, Momoo, 29, who is also under arrest in connection with the case, has told investigators that the Tomobe camp gave 50 million yen to the assembly member on two occasions, in November and December 1994. Investigators suspect the 50 million yen deposited into the account was part of the 100 million yen the Tomobe side provided, the sources said.

They plan to question the assembly member about the receipt of the money, which he has reportedly denied taking. The assembly member was affiliated with the Japan New Party, which was among the parties that merged to form Shinshinto in December 1994.