Opposition asks Hatoyama to explain donation scandal
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Posted 11/29/09 , edited 11/29/09
Opposition asks Hatoyama to explain donation scandal

Sunday 29th November, 02:44 PM JST


Opposition lawmakers on Sunday sought an explanation from Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama over an alleged political donations scandal involving the premier. ‘‘We want him to give an explanation in the Diet,’’ Jiro Kawasaki, Diet affairs chief of the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, said on a TV program.

Yoshio Urushibara, chairman of the New Komeito party’s Diet Policy Committee, concurred with Kawasaki, while Keiji Kokuta, parliamentary affairs chief of the Japanese Communist Party, criticized Hatoyama for being ‘‘irresponsible as a politician.’‘

Masamichi Kondo, head of Diet affairs in the House of Councillors for the Social Democratic Party, a junior member of the ruling coalition led by Hatoyama’s Democratic Party of Japan, also called on Hatoyama to explain himself.

‘‘The prime minister must be held accountable to some degree,’’ Kondo said. ‘‘We do not think he has done enough, so we hope he will take the opportunity to fulfill his accountability.’‘

But Kenji Yamaoka, Diet affairs chief for the DPJ, said only that Hatoyama should place priority on protecting people’s livelihoods and wondered how the scandal would affect their lives.

Prosecutors suspect that more than 300 million yen may have been falsely declared in Hatoyama’s political funds reports and that his 87-year-old mother may have contributed some of the money, according to sources close to the matter.

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