Tokyo Gov Naoki Inose on Friday admitted that he received a loan of 50 million yen last November from the scandal-hit Tokushukai group just one month before the gubernatorial election that he easily won.
Inose, 67, was besieged by reporters at the Tokyo metropolitan government office twice Friday as he went into damage control mode. He insisted the money was for private use and that he therefore did not have to include it in a campaign funds report to the election council, as required by the public offices election law, Fuji TV reported.
Inose did not say what the money was for but added that he handed an IOU to Tokushukai founder Torao Tokuda, 75, and that he meant to pay the loan back earlier this year, Fuji reported. He said the money was in his late wife's safety deposit box and that after she died in the summer, it took time to sort out the legal procedures.
By that time, Inose was also heavily involved in Tokyo's Olympic bid which was successful on Sept 7.
Inose told reporters his secretary returned the money in late September after the news broke about Tokushukai's illegal support for the founder's son -- Takeshi Tokuda, 42, who was elected to the House of Representatives last December.
Tokushukai was raided by police after it came to light that six of its executives, including two of Takeshi's sisters, deployed up to 200 Tokushukai staff to support Takeshi's successful campaign, paying them 147.5 million yen in "incentives." Tokuda resigned from the ruling Liberal-Democratic Party (LDP) earlier this month. His father has not been questioned as he is bed-ridden, police said.
Reporters pressed Inose on who actually gave him the money, and he said it was Takeshi Tokuda. Asked why he didn't go to a financial institution for a loan instead of the hospital group, Inose declined to answer, Fuji TV reported.© Japan Today