COVID-19 INFORMATION What you need to know about the coronavirus if you are living in Japan or planning a visit.
crime

Ozawa: Nothing unusual about keeping Y400 mil in cash at home

75 Comments

Former Democratic Party of Japan leader Ichiro Ozawa told the Tokyo District Court on Wednesday that there was nothing unusual about his keeping 400 million yen in his home instead of a bank. Ozawa was testifying for the second straight day on his involvement in a political funding scandal.

The 69-year-old politician is accused of conspiring with three former aides in not reporting 400 million yen of his own money that he loaned to his funding body in 2004 to facilitate a land deal, in contravention of Japan’s political funding laws. His three aides were convicted of the charges but have subsequently appealed.

In his testimony Wednesday, Ozawa again denied any involvement in false reporting of political funds. He said he had entrusted his aides with all administrative work and had never seen the funds reports, according to Fuji TV.

He said the 400 million yen at question in the deal had come from "various" sources, including property and money inherited from his parents, book royalties, and his salary as a lawmaker. But he refuted allegations of having received illegal donations from construction companies. When asked if he thought it unusual to keep that much money to hand, and not in a bank, he replied, "In some ways it's safer when you have it to hand. I don't think it's unusual," Fuji TV reported.

At the opening hearing of his trial in early October, Ozawa lambasted the prosecutors' investigations as a "clear abuse of state power."

Ozawa's explanation on the source of the 400 million yen he lent to Rikuzankai for the land purchase has drawn suspicion, as he has flip-flopped over the years. He said in February 2007 that it was "donations from supporters," but in October 2009, said the money was a loan from financial institutions.

In January 2010, Ozawa claimed the sum represented personal assets including money left from selling his home.

On the land acquisition for housing for his secretaries, Ozawa said he acknowledged the purchase and lent the 400 million yen he had in cash, Fuji reported.

But he said his involvement was "completed at that stage" and that he did not know of the other administrative and clerical procedures as he had entrusted them to his secretaries. When asked what kind of conversations they had when he lent the money, Ozawa said, "I do not remember at all."

Ozawa also claimed to have made an inquiry at his bank, but was allegedly told that the banks had no record of old transactions, Fuji reported.

When asked by a lawyer why his story had changed so many times, he replied, "I didn't change my story, I just didn't remember where it came from."

He also denied accusations by prosecutors that he had received illegal donations from construction companies as absurd, claiming he and his aides had never received any illegal donations from Mizutani Construction Co and others in the construction industry.

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

75 Comments
Login to comment

Have to keep $4 million around for paying the delivery guy.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

They cannot bust this guy. Move on. Someone call Danny Ocean.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I wish I had 400 million yen in spare change lying around my 1 LDK.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

He can't remember anything about money but he remembers everything in regards to what enemies and allies alike say or write about him.

I hope that the prosecutors have more than just hearsay evidence as to the charges regarding where the funds may have come from, a paper trail at least.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

He is an slippery snake, and we all know he will wriggle out of this without any penalties.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In 2010, 90 trillion yen was kept at home-amazing!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Does the man own Pachinko parlors?

How did he make his money?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Nothing unusual whatsoever. I have a 400m JPY Dominos Pizza fund for rainy days. Never know when you might need it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

These allegations against Ichiro Ozawa fall under "common practice" among politicians in Japan, during LDP rule it was "team work" whereas in DPJ's case, Ozawa is charged individually, that's the only difference.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Ozawa: Nothing unusual about keeping Y400 mil in cash at home

Ozawa is just a chip off the old Shin Kanemaru block. His former mentor would be proud if he were still around.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Nothing unusual. Of course I keep a couple of hundred million yen around the house. Doesn´t everybody?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Guess he doesn't trust Japanese banks.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He said the 400 million yen at question in the deal had come from “various” sources, including property and money inherited from his parents, book royalties, and his salary as a lawmaker

Prove it, as it could well have been obtained through illegal means. In this case bribes, corruption, dirty deals, and other crimminal activities.

Now in NZ and other countries the onus is on you to prove the property cash and other assets arnt the proceeds of crime.

Should be the same on this corrupt piece of filth.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Any one who hides 400 mill yen at home is most certianly hiding something and not just the money.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If I had 400 million, I'd keep it at home, too, as anything over one million in a bank is taxed in my home country.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

His futon must be uncomfortable with all that lumpy cash under it....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He probably has nice small stacks of bills under his futon. Must bring him comfort. I used to hide thousands in cash in my underwear drawer until I got married. Now I have no cash...

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Keeping things in cash is dodgy period, if you wanted to keep your money out of the bank you would buy gold or something buy keeping cash is avoiding taxes

1 ( +1 / -0 )

IMO that does seem a bit excessive. I don't feel the need for more than ¥100 million myself.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Bwahahahahahahaahaha!!!! Best Song and Dance EVER!!!! This is PRICELESS!!!!

I'm sure he's got the judge on his payroll. Watch me Ozawa top Manual Noreaga, Capone and any other mob boss out there.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

400 million yen

And they prosecute for so little... That's what ? Maybe 1/3 of Japanese would earn that in only 100 years. When they said he had to go to court, I imagined something really serious, like he had gone out in the street for a tsunami alert without carrying his gaijin card.

he banks had no record of old transactions,

Then surely, you can't trust them. Don't let them the cash.

Ozawa said, “I do not remember at all.”

Darling, you're like a bank, you forget everything. I can help you. Let's do that, I will keep your pocket money in my home.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I wonder how much cash he keeps in his front pocket at all times, if keeping 400 million Yen at home isn't such a big deal?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have to agree with Ozawa here. $4 million isn't much to just have at home. It's basically a solid weekend out when you're really crushing it.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Really, who can blame Ozawa for keeping his stash at home instead of the blasted banks? Probably safer.

"It's basically a solid weekend out when you're really crushing it"

Could you take me with you on one of your crushing weekends? LOL

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nothing unusual for an old CORRUPT fart like Ozawa!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I'll bet 400,000,000 Yen he doesn't get prosecuted.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

cant stand when people like Ozawa expect us minions to believe in his BS stories (400million kept at home not unusual!!??), the slime ball is worth his weight in snot!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Nothing unusual about it, I keep 400mil under my bed all the time. ha

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well you really can't trust the banks these days either you know!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is insane! I have been audited by the tax office here & I can tell when they show up they have done their research or can if wish, there is no way in hell this slimeballs banks have no records. When the tax guy showed at my home(insisted we must meet there), first thing he did was walk around my home taking notes, he was noting things they cud repo & sell if they choose to do so. And this was for a supposed random audit(which I learned there is NO such thing, so if you think yr getting random audit, think again yr being targeted plain & simple).

They had ALL our financial info on the mrs & me even accounts we both long forgot about, faced tons of questions going back at least 5yrs, was brutal & we hadnt done a damned thing! If I answered I dont know like this slimeball I probably wud have been hauled away in cuffs, & there is no way in hell you can gett away with having tons of cash & no explanation for how it came into ones possession, if you cant they can & likely wud confiscate it & then charge you.

This guy is dirty as hell, maybe I shud call the guy who audited me & ask him to do ozawa!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

When asked if he thought it unusual to keep that much money to hand, and not in a bank, he replied, “In some ways it’s safer when you have it to hand."

Evidently Ozawa has little faith in the banking system. I wonder if many other politicians keep their money under a mattress as well, out of harm's way if there is a run on the banks.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

He keeps that much money in the house?????? Anyone know where he lives?... Anyone thinking what I am thinking?;)....... if enough of us cause a ruckus out front.....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Seriously wondered if everyone managed to keep a straight face when he said that....... so good you couldnt even make it up.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

yep i always have to remove a lot of money out of the socks before putting them on, perfectly normal :p

2 ( +2 / -0 )

and after his medical problem miraculously 'cleared up' too..this guy is a slimeball.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ozawa to pizza delivery boy...

"Can you break a 400 milly?"

Pizza boy...!(@.@)!

S

0 ( +1 / -1 )

By the way a forgot to ask what his address was.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He should spend a little bit of that money and have some Botox treatments around the eyes....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's amazing that people still vote for politicians who are obviously corrupt (or even for politicians who have been proven in a court of law to be corrupt). Maybe there are those who assume that to be an effective politician it is necessary to have such credentials.

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/2ND+LD%3A+Convicted+ex-SDP+lawmaker+Tsujimoto+secures+Diet+seat.-a0136080087

1 ( +2 / -1 )

a fraction of the Y400m would keep the 2000 some odd people from starving when their benefits are cut. Has he even thought to maybe donate to those in the disaster area this winter.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I wonder how much cash he keeps in his front pocket at all times, if keeping 400 million Yen at home isn't such a big deal?

Probably nothing at all, (rolling eyes here) his secretaries carry all of it for him.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's amazing that people still vote for politicians who are obviously corrupt

Precisely. It seems that in the inaka where most of those guys get elected, you don't need many votes to win. For 400 millions, you can probably buy a few elections.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's amazing that people still vote for politicians who are obviously corrupt

He hasn't been in an election since 2009.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

400 million at home is nothing. Ozawa's mentor Shin Kanemaru, had more than 4.3 billion yen hidden at home, including gold bullion and cash.

Interestingly, Kanemaru's downfall came for failure to pay tax. The arrest came on the very last day before the five-year statute of limitations ran out for 1987. Ozawa was involved in dirty money even then...

For more details of the Japanese political system and dirty money, I'd recommend Steven Hunziker and Ikuro Kamimura's biography of Kakuei Tanaka

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What do you mean, doesn't everyone keep a cool 400 mil around the house &not know where it came from? Nothing to see here, move along, it is Japan after all & we all know Japan is UNIQUE...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Of course this seems weird. But in case of surprise guests it is always good to have some extra cash for the small necessities like cars, houses, countries or votes.... No intend to imply anything

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have to agree with Ozawa here. $4 million isn't much to just have at home. It's basically a solid weekend out when you're really crushing it.

How much money do you actually have and what do you do?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That would've been one bumpy mattress for sleeping!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I used to keep similar amounts of money at my home too but it got too bothersome as I had to move those piles out of the genkan every time someone was on the door. Not because I was worried they stole it, but because I could not get the door opened otherwise. Then again maybe he has a bigger house than I do?

Still with the interest rates the banks are paying you cannot blame the guy keeping it at home!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I get nervous keeping my money in the bank which had its ATM cards hacked.This guy needs to be locked away and NOT allowed to stand for party DPJ chief post. He is after this for the pension.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ "a fraction of the Y400m would keep the 2000 some odd people from starving when their benefits are cut. Has he even thought to maybe donate to those in the disaster area this winter." Especially since he made his bones in Iwate prefecture...he should financially help out his peeps indirectly according to the doctrines of " the gov of Tokyo"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ozawa is an engorged pimple on the heinie of Japanese politics and in desperate need of being popped.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Great comments here, thumbs up to everyone. I liked that he didn't change his story, he just had selective memory loss. I remember in the late 80s there was a run of safes full of cash being found in bamboo groves - I guess it's not unusual to keep cash around, just dump it when things get hot. So, that's 40,000 ichi-man-yen notes - should fit in the back of the futon cubby!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"How many times do I have to tell you? Stop banging the pots and pans, and no playing with the cash."

A familiar parent's problem.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I never had that much around the house....not even in Monopoly money

1 ( +1 / -0 )

For once, I have to agree with him. Better than losing all your money by putting it into banks or investments.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I think he means a cash only economy is completely normal in the circles he moves in. After all those pesky anti-money laundering laws do so cramp one's style when one's just trying to earn an honest buck. And what's with all the damned impertinent questions of this cheeky judge. Just who do they think he is?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Nothin' unusual about stuffing this much in my bra....Ozawa knows all the tricks and he will undoubtedly wriggle out of this mess too!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

shanabelle:

" Nothin' unusual about stuffing this much in my bra.... "

That would have be one heck of a bra!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ah hah hah hah ha! Hey Ozawa-chan, give me the Y400M and I'll keep it in my house!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yes, all perfectly ordinary. Nothing to see here...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This isn't nearly as interesting as the death of Kanemaru when they found all those gold bars hidden under the floorboards of his house. Now that crook had style.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wonder if he keeps a bath tub full of cash. i would.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If he didn't have the yakuza dropping by his home before (which really, why else would you carry that kind of cash at home?) then he will very soon.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I really don't know what the fuss is about! I've got more than that stuffed in my bra!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The NTA (J tax authorities) should check this guy out.

Talk is cheap. Ozawa's response was basically, oh it is my money.

Make him account for how he got the money. That large of an amount of cash should be relatively easy to ball-park the source.

If Ozawa can't account for the money, call it income and tax it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Oh, and send him to jail for tax evasion.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

" the guy who audited me & ask him to do ozawa!" GW, the bloke that audited you is now licking Ozawa's toes. They get who they want when they want. I've never been audited, but when a relative who owned his own business died I saw what they did to make sure he didn't leave any undocumented wealth. What's the phrase, crawling up your arse with a microscope?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What would happen if there was a fire? Wow..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Let's see what's the difference between the Yakuza and Ozawa:

1) Usually Yakuza/Mafia will keep money out of the bank to deceive the government or destruction of evidence that will leave a paper-trail. If you are doing something illegal Y400 million yen is a great reason for that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

While being unsure how you can sort out bank notes according to how you got them, I wonder what kind of crime it constitutes if he has the money at hand which the prosecutors couldn't prove contains slush funds after all their in-depth investigation (now they know Ozawa's financial record in more detail than anyone else). Even though prosecutors had acquitted Ozawa two times, the prosecutorial inquest panel that consisted of citizens judged it proper to indict him "forcibly" based on the document the prosecutor prepared by asking Ozawa's secretary. But it was brought to light at the trial last December that the document included what was fabricated by the prosecutor himself. And also a former prosecutor Maeda testified at the trial what seemed to clinch the whole argument. He said that prosecutors didn't make an official document of any facts which didn't support their assumption and they stored them as "confession memos" in a word processor in their PCs and they didn't provide the inquest panel with those inconvenient data which might have altered their judgement on the appropriateness of Ozawa's prosecution. In other words, it's as if prosecutors let the inquest panel do what they could not legally by themselves. Maeda said that if he were a judge, he would acquit Ozawa. Why doesn't the mass media elaborate on this instead of emphasizing the unusualness of keeping one's own money at hand?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ummmm don't know where he got his cash. perhaps if it wasn't taxed beforehand...well...that's a problem. But, actually, do you think it's wrong to save your cash at home? I don't think so. In my case I just make enough to live on, but find no wrong doing if ya want to keep your cash at home. What is the interest rate anyways? ¥0.025?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hahahahaha of course there is nothing wrong in keeping money in you house Mr. Ozawa. As long as it is clean money.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The amount of money, nor the fact it was kept at home is not important but the source of the money is what make it a crime. You might not trust banks and have inherited the money which is not a crime but if it is from a source of misuse of authority you deserve to have to face living without themoney and visiting a penal institution.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How much does he consider too much to keep in the house? Obviously its dirty money that he doesn't want to be audited on and/or pay taxes for. What a crook! Why is he even allowed to be a politician? He belongs in jail

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites