JAPAN | LDP must clear doubts over links with power firms: secretary general

Posted on July 27, 2011

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JAPAN | MAINICHI | 27 July 2011

In this March 15, 2011 photo released by Tokyo Electric Power Co., smoke rises from the badly damaged Unit 3 reactor, left, next to the Unit 4 reactor covered by an outer wall at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear complex in Okuma, northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Japan’s long-ruling but now main opposition party, the Liberal Democratic Party, must clear up any public misunderstandings that it makes much of electric power companies, LDP Secretary General Nobuteru Ishihara said Tuesday.

Ishihara commented at a news conference as media reported earlier this week that more than 70 percent of individual donations to the LDP’s political fund management body in 2009 came from current or retired executives of nine electric power companies including Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station.

“We must clear up misunderstandings, if any, that we make light of the public and much of electric power companies,” said Ishihara.

Ishihara said individuals, business corporations and organizations, such as labor unions, are allowed to provide donations to political parties to support politicians’ activities but parties need to act not to cause misunderstandings.

The LDP’s funds management body, the People’s Political Association, received 64.85 million yen in political donations from individuals in 2009, 72.5 percent of which came from executives of Tokyo, Kansai, Chubu, Hokkaido, Tohoku, Hokuriku, Chugoku, Shikoku, Kyushu Electric Power companies, showed a Kyodo News survey released Friday.

The LDP, which was in power almost continuously from 1955 until it lost in the 2009 election to the Democratic Party of Japan, has promoted the development of nuclear power generation.

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