The Tokyo High Court Monday acquitted Mr. Ichiro Ozawa, former secretary general of the Democratic Party of Japan and now head of the People’s Life First party, of charges of violation of the Political Funds Control Law. The high court, in deciding that he had not conspired with three of his former secretaries to falsify financial reports of his political fund management body Rikuzankai, thus upheld the Tokyo District Court’s April 26 not-guilty ruling. Compared with the district court’s ruling, the high court’s ruling strengthened the case for Mr. Ozawa’s innocence. In view of this fact and of the history of Mr. Ozawa’s case, the court-appointed lawyers acting as prosecutors should not appeal the high court ruling to the Supreme Court, as it would only result in unwarranted restrictions on Mr. Ozawa’s political activities.
Mr. Ozawa on his part cannot be too careful about his conduct as a politician, especially in the matter of political funds. He must do his utmost to play a constructive role to help Japan get out of its politically and economically difficult situation attributable to both internal and outside factors.
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