Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara’s resignation over receipt of political donations from a Korean resident underscores a problematic Political Funds Control Law and politicians’ obsession with fault-finding to pull others down.

Mr. Maehara resigned Sunday after acknowledging that his funds management body received ¥50,000 annually from 2005 to 2008 and in 2010 from the Korean resident, a 72-year old female owner of a Korean barbecue restaurant in Kyoto, who has been an acquaintance of him since his middle school days. The law prohibits politicians from receiving donations from foreign nationals, foreign corporate bodies and other foreign organizations. The woman did not know about the ban and made the donations in her Japanese name.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.