• Kyodo

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Yosuke Tsuruho, the minister of state for Okinawa and Northern Territories affairs, has returned money paid for tickets to a fundraising party because an individual is suspected of purchasing them under different names, a practice prohibited by law, his office said.

On Jan. 11, 2013, a man who serves as the deputy head of a nonprofit organization in Yamanashi Prefecture allegedly purchased ¥2 million worth of tickets in the names of an accountant and hotel he managed.

The Political Funds Control Law bans a person from purchasing fundraising party tickets under another name, and also sets the upper limit of a purchase by an individual at ¥1.5 million per occasion.

Tsuruho’s office said Monday it could not confirm the details but believes the payments were made by the same man.

The man said he was aware of the upper limit but thought there was no problem buying tickets under other people’s names. He denied being instructed by the Tsuruho side to make payments in such a way.

A political funds report showed the accountant and the hotel, which was undergoing bankruptcy procedures at that time, each paid ¥1 million for tickets to a Tsuruho fundraising party.

The man had been introducing clients to the accountant and when the accountant offered to pay a finder’s fee, the man asked the accountant to instead purchase the party tickets.

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