• Kyodo

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Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Nobuko Iwaki admitted Monday that a foundation she heads moved ¥340 million of its debts off its books in what appears to be irregular accounting.

The debts taken off the books of Japanese Children Goodwill Cruise relate to a loan of some ¥360 million the foundation received in 1988 from a school corporation also headed by Iwaki to purchase a ship, she told a news conference in Osaka.

The ship was not operated profitably, prompting the Tokyo-based foundation to sell it to a South Korean company in 1999 for ¥60 million.

The school corporation, based in Shizuoka Prefecture, was repaid only ¥20 million and wrote off the remaining ¥340 million as bad debt, Iwaki said.

She admitted she had instructed foundation officials to move the debts off the books, but said, “I did not intend to hide” the losses. She also ruled out giving up her seat in the House of Representatives.

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, which supervises the foundation, said it will urge the foundation to submit a revised report if it is found to be false.

Iwaki won a Lower House seat for the first time in 2005 following several losses in national elections.

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