• Kyodo News


Two management bodies that manage campaign funds for farm minister Toshikatsu Matsuoka received around 13 million yen in donations from 14 contractors awarded construction work by the Japan Green Resources Agency, political fund reports and bidding data showed Friday.

J-Green, as the agency is known, is a government-controlled forestry management body suspected of rigging bids for forestry road projects.

The donations were made over a three-year period through 2005 by contractors based in Kumamoto Prefecture for farmland and forestry development projects in the prefecture, the documents showed.

Matsuoka is known to have received about 8.5 million yen in donations from contractors implicated in bid-rigging for forestry road construction projects.

Prosecutors raided the local offices of J-Green on Friday to look for evidence it colluded to rig bids on a J-Green-awarded project for farmland development and road construction in forests and rural areas of Kumamoto Prefecture.

Those projects are typically subject to authorization by the agriculture, forestry and fisheries minister because 55 to 100 percent of the budget is subsidized by the state.

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