The chairman of a cosmetics company in Japan has disclosed that the leader of minor opposition Your Party borrowed 800 million yen from him during two election periods. However, the money he borrowed was not included in the political funds report required by the government to electoral candidates indicate the funds.
Yoshiaki Yoshida, chairman of DHC Corp., believes the money he lent to Yoshimi Watanabe before the 2010 House of Councillors election and 2012 House of Representatives election “couldn’t be used in any other way than as election campaign funds.” He added that around 500 million yen is still to be paid back by Watanabe. In response to Yoshida’s allegations, Watanabe said through a statement, “I borrowed the money as an individual and I decided on my own how the money should be spent” but without actually revealing where he allocated the funds. He added that he intend to continue paying the money back with the interest.
Yoshida said he wired the money to Watanabe’s personal account, worth 300 million yen in 2010 and another 500 million yen in 2012 as the politician requested assistance for election campaign funds. He also said that while some of the money has been paid back, a remaining 550 million yen still has to be remitted. On the other hand, Watanabe’s May 2013 assets report lists 250 million yen borrowed on December 2012, which is only half of what Yoshida claims the legislator owes him. Even asset reports from 2009 to 2012 of Watanabe’s three political organizations do not contain money borrowed amounting to 800 million from Yoshida. The chairman said, “I didn’t think that it has been listed.”
But reports from the Tochigi Prefecture chapter of Your Party show that Yoshida donated a total of 60 million yen from 20120 to 2012. Other documents list the chairman to have shelled out 6 million yen as donation or fees for fundraising parties from 2009 until 2011. Watanabe created Your Party in 2009 after leaving the Liberal Democratic Party. If any of the funds he borrowed from Yoshida were used as election campaign money and not declared, a violation of the public office election law has been committed and Watanabe will be subject to an investigation.