Irregularities over political donations continue to annoy main political parties. The Democratic Party of Japan was rattled by the arrest in March of then party leader Ichiro Ozawa’s chief secretary on suspicion of illegally handling political donations from two political bodies linked to Nishimatsu Construction Co. Mr. Ozawa resigned as party leader in May. Now the current DPJ leader, Yukio Hatoyama, is in hot water. But irregularities involving Liberal Democratic Party politicians also have surfaced. The situation is putting a drag on Japanese politics.

Mr. Hatoyama has admitted that his office used the names of dead people and those who did not make donations in statements for a fundraising report. Reports of 193 donations totaling ¥21.77 million, made from 2005 to 2008, were misstated. Some 90 names were of dead people and people who did not make donations.

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