• SHARE

An opposition lawmaker demanded Friday that Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiken Sugiura resign for allegedly falsifying his annual political funds reports.

Hisayasu Nagata, a Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker from Chiba, said during a Diet session that Sugiura’s explanation of 15 million yen he claims he received from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party from 2000 to 2002 does not jell with the LDP’s annual reports.

Kyodo News reported earlier that an LDP faction now led by former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori regularly provided political funds to its junior members without listing the expenses in its funds reports. Sugiura is a member of the faction.

Following this report, Sugiura drew attention Wednesday by making a correction to his funds reports for 2000, 2001 and 2002, claiming the 15 million yen he had declared as donations from the Mori faction had actually come from the LDP’s coffers.

The Mori faction now denies that it distributes money among its members.

Sugiura claimed that his treasurer thought the 15 million yen had come from the faction because the LDP delivered the funds via that faction’s secretariat.

The records do not support his claim.

Sugiura said he received 2 million yen each on June 29 and Dec. 19, 2001, and July 31 and Dec. 11, 2002. He said the money was categorized as a “policy activities expense” in the LDP’s books. He said he received 7 million yen in 2000.

But the LDP’s official fund reports show the party paid Sugiura “policy activities expense” money of 4 million yen each on June 20 and Dec. 11, 2001, and June 27 and Dec. 11, 2002.

“I always sincerely answer questions (from lawmakers at the Diet) and stake my job on it,” Sugiura told the Lower House Budget Committee on Friday, seconds before Nagata revealed the apparent contradictions between the LDP’s official records and Sugiura’s. During the same session, Sugiura promised to re-examine his records and report to the Diet.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW