The Social Democratic Party hinted Sept. 9 that it does not want to see Koko Sato, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party who was convicted in the 1976 Lockheed bribery scandal, appointed to a Cabinet post.
Takako Doi, leader of the SDP, told reporters that she asked Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto to make his new Cabinet lineup “one that can receive the support of the public.” Although Doi did not mention any names, it was evident that she opposes the selection of Sato as a Cabinet member, as is being widely rumored. Sato was given a three-year suspended jail term, which he has already completed, for accepting a bribe.
The two leaders met when Hashimoto visited the SDP’s head office to report to SDP executives about his re-election as LDP president and ask for continued cooperation. Doi told the press briefing that the SDP will continue to cooperate with the LDP as a non-Cabinet ally.