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POLITICS

Defense industry donations to LDP increase by 60%

  • January 8, 2017
  • , Mainichi , Lead story
  • JMH Translation

Thirty-one defense equipment manufacturers that are members of the Japan Association of Defense Industry (JADI) donated a total of 390 million yen in 2015 to the People’s Political Association, a political fund-raising organization for the Liberal Democratic Party, the Mainichi Shimbun has learned. Defense budgets have continued to rise in relation to the security laws enacted by the Abe administration in September 2015. As if in correlation with the enactment, corporate donations by JADI members have increased by 60% compared to those made under the former Democratic Party administration. The amount of donations has returned to the level maintained under the previous LDP administration.

 

The membership of JADI consists of 136 companies involved in the domestic manufacture or repair of defense equipment. The chairman of JADI is Hideaki Omiya, the chairman of the board of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and its managing director is Kenji Nozu, the former chief of the Equipment Procurement Office in the Defense Agency (now the Defense Ministry). According to an income and expenditure report on political funds for 2015, 31 of JADI’s members made donations to the People’s Political Association,  which gathers corporate contributions for the LDP.

 

The largest donation was made by Toyota Motor Corporation, which supplies special vehicles including military and transport vehicles to the Self-Defense Forces, at 64.4 million yen, followed by Canon Inc. at 40 million yen, and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation at 35 million yen. Canon and its affiliated companies receive orders for x-ray radiography devices, whereas Nippon Steel receives orders for high-pressure air compressors used in submarines.

 

The nation’s defense budget has increased from 4.7 trillion yen for fiscal 2012 to 5 trillion yen for fiscal 2016, which indicates that the objectives of the defense industry are in sync with the government’s defense policy. For example, the Committee on Defense Industry of Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), which includes a number of JADI members, proposed in February 2014 that the LDP review Japan’s three principles regarding arms exports that have prohibited the nation from exporting weapons overseas. About two months later, the Cabinet adopted the Three Principles on Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology, which are now contributing to the increase in arms exports.

 

Changes in LDP donations by JADI members

 

2009

2012

2015

Asahi Kasei Corporation

18 million yen

12 million yen

15 million yen

Kawasaki Heavy Industries

5 million yen

2.5 million yen

3 million yen

Canon

50 million yen

25 million yen

40 million yen

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal

 

16 million yen

350 million yen

Toyota Motor Corporation

64.4 million yen

51.4 million yen

64.4 million yen

NEC

15 million yen

7 million yen

15 million yen

Hitachi, Ltd.

38.5 million yen

14 million yen

28.5 million yen

Fuji Heavy Industries

14.8 million yen

13.9 million yen

26.7 million yen

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

10 million yen

10 million yen

33 million yen

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation

0

0

20.7 million yen

(Abridged)

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