The main opposition Democratic Party of Japan hopes to settle questions surrounding an e-mail that one of its lawmakers has claimed shows a shady money transfer involving ruling Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Tsutomu Takebe without anyone having to resign, DPJ members said Saturday.

The party is considering holding a news conference with Hisayasu Nagata, the lawmaker who first made the allegations about the e-mail at a House of Representatives panel on Feb. 16, sometime this week to explain the case in more detail, they said.

The DPJ also plans to make public its probe into the e-mail’s authenticity.

Nagata reportedly expressed his intention Thursday to resign from the Lower House but the DPJ leadership does not want him to, as this would make party members hesitant about raising others issues in the Diet, a senior party member said.

DPJ leader Seiji Maehara ruled out stepping down over the controversy in a speech Saturday in the city of Shizuoka, saying “As the chief opposition party, we would like to fulfill our responsibility by exploring the truth rigorously.”

Nagata has claimed the e-mail shows that Livedoor Co.’s founder Takafumi Horie, who has been arrested and indicted for alleged securities law violations, instructed that 30 million yen be transferred to a son of the LDP’s Takebe.

Nagata was admitted last week to a Tokyo hospital for exhaustion.

The DPJ leadership has been in hot water over the debacle.

Later in the day, Maehara told a meeting in Kyoto that DPJ Lower House member Yoshihiko Noda also does not have to resign as the chief of the party’s Diet affairs committee despite his earlier offer to quit to take responsibility for the panel’s failure to prove the credibility of its claims over the e-mail.

Noda should continue with his fact-finding efforts, Maehara said.

In a related move, former DPJ deputy leader Ichiro Ozawa, who is seeking to become party president when the post comes up for grabs in September, voiced dissatisfaction with how the leadership has handled the e-mail matter.

The current Diet session has provided a good opportunity for the DPJ to pursue the LDP over various issues, including a number of condos and hotels built with fabricated quake-resistance data, Ozawa said in a speech in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture.

“Recently, however, this position seems to be reversed,” he said.

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