• Kyodo News


Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshihiro Nikai said Monday he has no recollection of receiving donations from scandal-tainted Nishimatsu Construction Co.

“I have adequately reported (donations) in accordance with the Political Funds Control Law,” he told the Upper House Budget Committee.

Alleged illegal donations involving the contractor have led to the arrest of a secretary of Democratic Party of Japan leader Ichiro Ozawa.

It is alleged that several senior lawmakers of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, including Nikai, also received donations from Nishimatsu.

According to investigative sources, prosecutors are planning to question Nikai’s aides this week on suspicion they were aware that receiving donations from Nishimatsu was illegal under the Political Funds Control Law.

The law prohibits corporations from making political donations, except those given to political parties or their fund management organizations.

After the budget committee session, Nikai told reporters he will not resign from his post and that his aides have not been questioned by prosecutors.

“To find out the facts, I would like to deal with the issue properly by consulting with legal experts and others,” he said.

Nikai also denied receiving around ¥60 million in secret donations from Nishimatsu over more than 10 years, contradicting what the firms’ officials have reportedly told prosecutors.

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