Farm minister Koya Nishikawa said Friday that he doesn’t regard a political donation he returned to a wood-processing company as illegal.
Nishikawa was speaking to reporters after the Mainichi Shimbun reported Friday that the September 2012 donation to the Liberal Democratic Party’s branch in the Tochigi No. 2 district, which he headed, was likely illegal due to its timing.
A company in the district made the contribution four months after the government decided to grant the firm a ¥700 million subsidy, according to the report.
The Political Funds Control Law bans a company from making a political donation within a year of receiving notification from the government that it is to receive a subsidy.
At the time the subsidy was decided, Nishikawa was not a lawmaker as he had been unseated in a Lower House election and the Democratic Party of Japan was in power.
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