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4TH LD: DPJ member alleges Horie sent 30 mil. yen to son of LDP's Takebe+
[February 16, 2006]

4TH LD: DPJ member alleges Horie sent 30 mil. yen to son of LDP's Takebe+


(Japan Economic Newswire Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)TOKYO, Feb. 16_(Kyodo) _ (EDS: ADDING INFO IN 5-7, 9-10 GRAFS)

Opposition lawmaker Yasuhisa Nagata claimed Thursday that former Livedoor Co. President Takafumi Horie had instructed in a company e-mail that 30 million yen be sent to the second son of senior ruling party lawmaker Tsutomu Takebe as a fee for electoral consultancy work.



Takebe, secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party, denied the allegations, saying no money had been sent from Livedoor to his son.

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who is also LDP president, accused Nagata of the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan of bringing up "bogus information" in public.


Nagata made the allegation at a session of the House of Representatives Budget Committee.

LDP lawmakers demanded during the committee session that the DPJ disclose any relevant information, including the sender and recipient of the e-mail, saying it is central to the credibility of the allegation. But the opposition party rejected the demand.

Nagata told a news conference later in the day he was told by a person who is close to Livedoor that some money had been transferred from the company's bank account to that of Takebe's son on at least three occasions.

The DPJ demanded at an executive meeting of the budget committee in the evening that Takebe, his son, Horie and two others be summoned to the Diet as unsworn witnesses, but the ruling coalition rejected the idea.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office announced the same day that it does not know if such an e-mail actually exists or if the allegations are true.

DPJ leader Seiji Maehara was still confident the allegation will corner the rival governing party.

"This will become a larger problem," Maehara said during a speech at a meeting in Tokyo. "It will be gradually shown that the LDP deceived voters and shareholders by playing up Livedoor's false business."

Horie, 33, the former head of Livedoor, a Tokyo-based Internet service firm being investigated on suspicion of accounting fraud, has been indicted along with three other executives for alleged violations of securities market regulations.

Encouraged by Koizumi, Horie ran in the House of Representatives election last year as an independent to contest an electoral district held by an LDP defector. He received support from Takebe and other LDP lawmakers, but failed to win the seat.

Koizumi, citing Takebe's account that Nagata's allegation is "absolutely groundless," said he believes the DPJ lawmaker raised it in order to create public distrust in the LDP.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe told a press conference it is not clear if the allegation is true, and accused the DPJ of "recently repeating criticisms that have no grounds at all," without going into detail.

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