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POLITICS

Opposition parties grill Education Minister Shimomura at Diet over political donations

  • 2015-03-13 15:00:00
  • , Nikkei
  • Translation

(Nikkei: March 13, 2015 – p. 4)

 

 At the House of Representatives Budget Committee on March 12, opposition parties stepped up their questioning of Hakubun Shimomura, minister of education, culture, sports, science and technology, over an issue involving political donations. He is facing criticism because a local party chapter that he heads allegedly received donations as membership fees from Hakuyukai, an organization made up of Shimomura’s friends. The opposition side questioned him aggressively while presenting new documents, but he denied the illegality of the donations by saying, “They were donations.” (Abridged)

 

 Points at issue over “Hakuyukai”

Explanations by Shimomura

Assertions by the opposition

1.

Hakuyukai groups in local areas are voluntary groups of my friends.

Since the groups support Shimomura and collects donations for him, they are political organizations.

2.

Local party chapter received donations from Hakuyukai members.

Since the money was for annual fees and not donations, Shimomura is suspected of committing fraud or false reporting on political donations.

3.

I have not received any speaking fees.

Since some people testified that they gave him money, Shimomura is suspected of failing to declare or falsely reporting his income.

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