Political fund problem hits Japanese PM

Updated: 2015-03-03 10:16


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Political fund problem hits Japanese PM

Japan's Prime Minister and the leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Shinzo Abe, points to a reporter during a news conference following a victory in the lower house elections by his ruling coalition, at the LDP headquarters in Tokyo, in this December 15, 2014 file photo. [Photo/Agencies]

TOKYO -- A local chapter headed by President of Japan's ruling Democratic Party (LDP) Shinzo Abe, who is also Japan's prime minister, has been found receiving donations within one year from two firms after they were selected for government subsidies, according to local media early on Tuesday.

The Yamaguchi No. 4 LDP chapter received 120,000 yen (about $1, 000) in 2012 from a chemical product company based in Osaka, and 500,000 yen (about $4,160) in 2013 from Ube Industries Ltd. in Tokyo, Japan's Kyodo News quoted political funds reports late Monday.

The two companies were selected to get government subsidies respectively in 2012 and 2013, said a local bureau of the Japanese Industry Ministry.

Japan's political funds control law bans companies from making political donations within a year after them being noticed to get government's subsidies.

The problem involving the prime minister follows a series of political fund scandals that trapped several ministers of Abe's cabinet.

Agriculture Minister Koya Nishikawa stepped down due to similar problems with Abe last week and Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura allegedly received supports from groups outside his constituency and the groups are not registered as political organizations.

Last year, two female Japanese ministers, representatives of Abe's "womenomincs," resigned due to political funds problems and the resignations also partially triggered Abe to dissolve the lower house and called a snap general election.

Then Trade Minister Yuko Obuchi and then Justice Minister Midori Matsushima quitted their posts for misuse of political funds, only one month after their appointments in a cabinet reshuffle.

While, political fund report of Yoichi Miyazawa, the successor of Obuchi, was also found spending of 18,230 yen for sadomasochism sex show in a bar in Hiroshima and Miyazawa, who also involved in other allegations, not resigned.

In the general election in December, the scandal-hit ministers, including Obuchi, Matsushima and Miyazawa, secured their seats in the lower house.