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Yamaha Motor Co. purchased 200,000 yen worth of tickets for a political fundraiser held this month by Satsuki Katayama, parliamentary secretary of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, after METI accused the motorcycle maker of illegal exports, sources said Saturday.

Katayama’s office denied the Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker had any personal involvement in the matter, saying a secretary sold 10 tickets at 20,000 yen each to a Yamaha official whom the secretary knows well.

The fundraising party was held July 10 at a Tokyo hotel.

Police raided the Shizuoka-based Yamaha in January when METI filed a criminal complaint accusing it of attempting to export a helicopter to China that experts say could be diverted to military use. The remote-controlled helicopter is normally used to spray pesticide.

Katayama, a former Finance Ministry bureaucrat, won a seat on the LDP ticket in the House of Representatives last September from the No. 7 district in Shizuoka Prefecture. Yamaha has manufacturing facilities in that district.

Katayama’s office emphasized that the fundraiser tickets were sold to the Yamaha official by the secretary, and not at the request of Katayama.

However, Yamaha said the purchase was not a personal matter between its officials and the Katayama side, and the company bought the tickets “at the request of Katayama’s office.”

The company denied the purchase was related to the criminal complaint.

“We support the LDP lawmakers from Shizuoka and also purchase such tickets sometimes at the request of other lawmakers,” Yamaha said.

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