Noda returns donations from troubled firms, Korean resident

Kyodo

A political funds management body and support group of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda last year returned ¥4.27 million in donations from companies suspected of engaging in misconduct and from a Korean resident, a government report showed Wednesday.

Noda’s fund management body returned ¥3 million to the founder of the Shinagawa Cosmetic Surgery group and ¥471,000 to the Korean resident, according to the report made available by the election board in Chiba Prefecture. Noda was elected from the Chiba No. 4 single-seat constituency.

The cosmetic surgery clinic was involved in a malpractice case in 2009 in which a patient died and investigative documents were leaked by police.

The Political Funds Control Law prohibits contributions from foreign individuals and companies to prevent domestic politics from being influenced by foreign countries.

Noda’s support group also returned a total of ¥800,000 to two companies that purchased fundraising party tickets for him. No reason was cited for returning the contributions, except that the firms were suspected of engaging in unspecified misconduct.

Noda’s office said the political funds management body and support group returned donations that were “deemed inappropriate.”

Noda joins several other politicians who have drawn flak for receiving donations from presumed foreign nationals, mainly Korean residents of Japan who went by Japanese names.