Diet testimony given Monday by Liberal Democratic Party legislator Muneo Suzuki proved to be inconclusive. It failed to lift the heavy cloud of doubt hanging over his alleged abuse of power. The central question -- how he used his political clout to favor his friends in government and business -- was left largely unanswered. Most of what he said was rhetoric -- or, to put it bluntly, obfuscation.

Admittedly, the current testimony system has its limits, including the relatively short time allotted to questioners. Partly for that reason, past testimony by a dozen scandal-tainted lawmakers invariably produced little evidence. So it is hardly surprising that Mr. Suzuki's testimony also ended inconclusively. It will be unfortunate, however, if the public is led to believe that Diet questioning is little more than a show. Mr. Suzuki needs to be summoned again.

One thing that requires further scrutiny is his involvement with the Foreign Ministry. Earlier this month, the ministry released the results of its internal probe, but a wide gap exists between the content of the report and his testimony. The report itself is ambiguous on some sensitive issues.