The Liberal Democratic Party on Friday dismissed media reports that Ryotaro Tanose, an LDP member of the House of Representatives, misappropriated some 10 million yen of his policy secretary’s state-paid salary.

LDP Chief Deputy Secretary General Akira Amari told reporters that Tanose showed him bank documents and other papers earlier this week and claimed the salary was properly paid to the secretary.

The bankbook of the secretary, whose name is being withheld, showed that the full salary was paid into his account, Amari said, adding that the findings effectively close the party’s investigation into the matter.

When the secretary was hospitalized for nearly a year between 1996 and 1997, he donated 2 million yen to 3 million yen to Tanose’s political funding group because he was “sorry for being a nuisance” to the lawmaker, according to Amari.

Of the contribution, 1.5 million yen was reported as a personal donation and the remainder was paid in the form of party tickets and support group membership fees, he said.

As the payments were made in small amounts, they do not need to be filed as political funds, Amari noted.

However, the media reported earlier this week that the aide quit when the Lower House was dissolved in September 1996 and that Tanose had falsely registered the aide as his policy secretary between 1996 and 1997.

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