A total of 16 Diet members, including former Cabinet ministers, have admitted receiving donations from scandal-tainted mutual-aid foundation KSD, a Kyodo News survey found.
Of the 93 Diet members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and one independent who belongs to a parliamentarians’ league that supports a political arm of KSD, 58 responded to the survey.
Of these, 16 admitted to having received donations from the organization for small businesses, supervised by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.
Those who have received donations include former Labor Minister Akira Amari, former Transport Minister Takao Fujii and former Education Minister Hirofumi Nakasone.
Amari said KSD had bought tickets worth 7 million yen for his fundraising parties until last June and he received another 100,000 yen at an unspecified time, while Fujii said he received 2.1 million yen between 1992 and 1996 and Nakasone said he was given 500,000 yen in 1992 and 100,000 yen in 1998.
KSD also offered 120,000 yen to former Labor Minister Yoshio Yoshikawa, 40,000 yen to former Home Affairs Minister Nobuyuki Hanashi, 100,000 yen to former International Trade and Industry Minister Kabun Muto and 120,000 yen to House of Representatives member Shizuo Sato, according to the survey, which was released Tuesday.
Receipt of the donations had not been reported before by any of the lawmakers, except Yoshikawa.
Nine others, including Toshio Nakayama, former Defense Agency chief; Mitsuhiro Uesugi, former Home Affairs minister; Kichio Inoue, former head of the Hokkaido and Okinawa Development agencies; and Soichiro Matsutani, a House of Councilors member; also said they have received donations of 100,000 yen from KSD.
Amari, Matsutani and Fujii also said they have received free tickets for concerts sponsored by KSD.
Of the 58 respondents, 32 denied having any relationship with KSD or arrested KSD founder Tadao Koseki, 79, while the remaining 26 admitted to having some connection with the organization or Koseki.
Masakuni Murakami, an LDP heavyweight who is believed to have strong ties with Koseki, did not respond to the questionnaire.
KSD paid a total of 670 million yen in membership dues to the LDP through its affiliate to help Murakami get re-elected in Upper House elections in 1992 and 1998, according to investigative sources.
Koseki was indicted in December on a charge of breach of trust for misuse of KSD funds.
Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori did not respond to the questionnaire either, saying “As prime minister, I will not answer any kind of questionnaires.”
KSD also reportedly offered more than 4,000 free concert tickets to a support group for Mori in 1995.
The new findings on KSD’s financial support for lawmakers is expected to influence the upcoming Diet debates on the KSD scandal.
The parliamentarians’ league was formed in April 1991 at the initiative of Hoseiren, KSD’s political wing; Murakami assumed the group’s leadership in 1997. Former Upper House member Takao Koyama, who was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of taking bribes from KSD, has also served as the league’s secretariat chief.
Hoseiren was disbanded in November after the scandal involving KSD broke.
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