An Osaka-based citizens’ group filed a complaint with the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office, maintaining that Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi’s fund management body unlawfully received contributions ranging from 2 million yen to 5 million yen from seven individuals through three nearly dormant private political groups, it was learned Tuesday. According to group member Koji Morioka, a Kansai University professor, Obuchi’s fund management body violated the law regulating political funds, which limits individual donations to a political group to a maximum of 1.5 million yen a year. Fund management body Mirai Sangyo Kenkyukai said, however, that it believes there was nothing illegal about the contributions in question. According to the complaint, a senior company executive residing in Tokyo donated 1.5 million yen to Keiyukai and 1 million yen each to Keiwakai and Keizankai last year. All are informal political support groups for Obuchi. The three groups then donated the money to the fund management body in December that same year. The same executive, who was not identified, separately donated 1.5 million yen directly to the fund management body. The other six people mentioned in the complaint donated money in a similar fashion, and in total the seven individuals donated 17 million yen to the organization. Administrative affairs at Mirai Sangyo Kenkyukai and the three support groups are controlled by a single individual. The three groups do not pay any rent or phone bills, and the complaint claims they are dummy companies that do not meet the legal requirements to be acknowledged as political support groups. “These three groups can only be interpreted as being dummy firms used to channel funds (to the fund management body) and donations to them should be treated as donations to the fund management body,” Morioka said. Personnel at the fund management body said that the matter was discussed with legal counsel and nothing illegal could be confirmed.

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