• Kyodo

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Senior members of the Kyoto branch of the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) received tax deductions by falsely claiming to have made 18.7 million yen in donations to the union’s political arm, it was learned Monday.

Takeshi Hamuro, head of Rengo Kyoto, admitted that senior union members, including those formerly in executive posts, took advantage of the system of tax deductions on political donations.

Hamuro apologized and promised a full-scale probe.

According to Rengo officials, the political arm of Rengo Kyoto falsely reported to the Kyoto Prefectural Election Management Committee that it received 18.7 million yen in donations from Rengo Kyoto members over the past three years.

The senior members received tax returns by deducting the nonexistent donations from their annual income, the officials said. Some of them have corrected their income reports to pay the taxes due, the officials said.

Rengo Kyoto, which has about 115,000 members, will launch an internal probe into possible violations of the law on political donations and tax evasion. Its political arm was established in 1989.

In annual reports to the election management committee, the political body said it has received individual donations from several high-ranking members of Rengo Kyoto, with one member reporting offering up to 1.3 million yen in a year.

However, a probe of the reports from 2000 to this year revealed that 18.7 million yen that was reported to have been donated from 11 members actually did not reach the coffers of the political body, Rengo officials said.

The political body also manipulated the books to inflate expenses so the figures would match, according to the officials.

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