• Kyodo News


Ichiro Ozawa on Thursday let a Diet ethics panel know he won’t appear before it next week to answer questions about his political funding scandal.

While the Democratic Party of Japan leadership is still seeking a way to summon Ozawa to the Lower House Deliberative Council on Political Ethics, the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito remain reluctant to hold the committee session unless they know the DPJ heavyweight will show up.

The panel’s chairman, Ryuichi Doi, had asked Ozawa to appear before the ethics panel next Monday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. The Diet starts a 150-day session Monday.

The two opposition parties have argued it would be meaningless to vote on a resolution summoning Ozawa as long as he refuses to appear.

Given the situation, it has become unlikely that Ozawa, who will be indicted soon over his fund management body’s alleged false financial reporting, will testify in the Diet anytime soon, observers said.

Ozawa conveyed his intention not to attend to Doi through Hiroshi Kawauchi, a DPJ Lower House lawmaker who is a member of the committee and is close to Ozawa.

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