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「西松」違法献金 元社長有罪の持つ重い意味

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Jul. 19, 2009)
Nishimatsu conviction has major implications
「西松」違法献金 元社長有罪の持つ重い意味(7月19日付・読売社説)

Former Democratic Party of Japan leader Ichiro Ozawa must explain more clearly to the public the circumstances surrounding his political funds.
 民主党の小沢一郎前代表は、自らの政治資金について、より明確に国民に説明することが求められるのではないか。

The Tokyo District Court on Friday convicted a former president of Nishimatsu Construction Co. of violating the Political Funds Control Law and the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Law.
 政治資金規正法違反などに問われた西松建設元社長に対し、東京地裁は有罪判決を言い渡した。

The evidence that formed the basis for the former Nishimatsu president's conviction partially overlaps with facts presented in the indictment against Ozawa's state-paid first secretary, who is being tried separately. The conviction of the former Nishimatsu president indicates that charges presented in the indictment against Ozawa's secretary were indirectly acknowledged by the court.
 有罪とされた事実の一部は、分離公判となった小沢氏の公設第1秘書の起訴事実と重なっている。今回の判決で、間接的に認められたという見方もできる。

As one of the DPJ's acting presidents, Ozawa still holds an important position in his party. It is almost certain that the House of Representatives will be dissolved Tuesday, and that voting for the lower house will take place on Aug. 30. It is Ozawa's responsibility as a politician to spell out to voters why he accepted a huge amount of funds from a specific company, and how he used the money.
 小沢氏は今も代表代行の要職にある。衆院は21日に解散され、来月30日投開票が固まっている。特定の企業から多額の資金提供を受けた理由や金の使途を説明し、有権者に判断材料を与えるのが政治家としての責任だろう。

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Ruling bodes ill for Ozawa aide

In Friday's ruling, the court pointed out that Nishimatsu made donations to the Ozawa side so as to ensure that Nishimatsu won public works orders made by Iwate and Akita prefectures by trying to build a favorable relationship with Ozawa's secretaries, who have a strong influence over which contractors win such orders.
 判決では、小沢氏側への献金は西松建設が岩手、秋田両県発注の工事を談合で確実に受注するために、業者決定に強い影響力を持つ小沢氏の秘書らと良好な関係を築こうとしたもの、と指摘した。

The total amount of the donations reached about 138 million yen over 10 years. Most of this amount was donated under the names of two dummy political organizations led by former Nishimatsu executives.
 総額は10年間で1億3800万円に上り、大半が二つのダミー政治団体名義で献金されていた。

It is noteworthy that the ruling determined that the two political organizations existed in name only. That being the case, Ozawa's office should have written "Nishimatsu" in the space for donors' names in his political fund reports. That will become a point of contention in the secretary's trial.
 判決が、西松建設の作った二つの政治団体を「実体がない」とした点は重要だ。実体がなければ、収支報告書の献金者欄には西松建設と書かねばならない。秘書の公判で争点の一つになろう。

Ozawa's secretary did not figure largely in Friday's ruling. But after the first hearing of the former Nishimatsu president's trial, the secretary's defense counsel raised a strenuous objection to the prosecutors' argument, saying it was based on one-sided testimonies of those with connections to the general contractor companies.
 今回の判決は、秘書が当事者ではない。秘書の弁護団は元社長の初公判後、検察側の主張に対し、「ゼネコン関係者の一方的な供述に基づくもの」と猛反発した。

However, the court acknowledged as facts the illegality of the donations in question and the clout the Ozawa side wielded over the selection of contractors for public works projects. This also is highly significant. The DPJ also should investigate these matters.
 だが、違法献金や業者決定への小沢氏側の影響力を、裁判所が事実と認定した意味は重い。党としても調査すべきではないか。

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Voters' eyes on money politics

The ruling also said Nishimatsu purchased tickets for political fund-raising parties held by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party faction headed by Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Toshihiro Nikai under the names of dummy political entities to conceal the donations from the construction firm. A total of 8.44 million yen worth of tickets were purchased in that way. Of them, the indictment applied to 3.4 million yen worth of tickets in respect of which the statute of limitations had not run out.
 判決は、西松建設が自社からの献金とわからないようダミー政治団体名義で、自民党の二階経済産業相派の政治団体のパーティー券を購入していたことも認めた。計844万円分のうち、時効になっていない340万円分である。

In Nikai's case, those in charge of accounting in the faction were not indicted, and the case differs from that in which Ozawa's secretary is involved. But the fact remains that it was Nikai's secretaries who asked Nishimatsu to buy the tickets.
 これについては、派閥の会計責任者らが起訴されておらず、小沢氏の秘書のケースとは事情が異なるものの、購入を依頼したのは二階経産相の秘書だった。

Nikai said at a press conference that his office has accurately reported donated funds "in a cooperative manner based on goodwill" on the basis of the Political Funds Control Law. But we wonder how closely he has examined the matter. He owes the public a detailed explanation.
 二階経産相は記者会見で、「善意で協力を頂いたことをそのまま政治資金規正法に基づいて報告している」と述べたが、事実関係をどれほど調べたのか。もっと丁寧な説明が必要だろう。

When casting their ballots, the problem of money and politics is something voters cannot ignore. Politicians should not forget that voters are carefully watching what they are doing and how they are doing it.
 投票の際、有権者にとって「政治とカネ」の問題は無視できない判断基準の一つだ。有権者が政治家の姿勢を注視していることを忘れてはなるまい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 19, 2009)
(2009年7月19日01時27分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2009-07-19 08:47 | 英字新聞

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