“The way I look at it, this donation shows my mother’s love to me. It is not illegal.” So says Internal Affairs and Communications and former Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama, defending the legality of donations made by members of his family.
Shukan Post reported earlier that Hatoyama’s mother and sister had made contributions of 1.5 million yen each to his fund-management organization, Shinsei-kai. The Political Fund Control Act limits the maximum donation by an individual to political organizations to 1.5 million yen. However, the same family members allegedly contributed an additional 4.5 million respectively to Shinsei-kai by funneling the funds through three separate dummy organizations.
While Hatoyama, well known for his obscure and often absurd comments, described the annual 6 million yen contribution as motherly love, he also claimed no knowledge of the transaction, saying he delegates such matters to the organization’s treasurer.
On the other hand, Hatoyama’s office responded to Shukan Post’s inquiry that “if there are any problems, the money will be handled as a donation to the [LDP] party’s local chapter.“
As the watchdog of political funding, Hatoyama should not be allowed to get away with such sophistry.© Japan Today