Japan Opposition Urges Minister to Clarify Graft Claims

Updated on
  • DPJ's Fukuyama says he wants Amari to `show good faith'
  • Opposition plans to urge clarification from minister on Monday

The opposition Democratic Party of Japan plans to urge embattled Economy Minister Akira Amari, who attended the World Economic Forum in Davos this weekend, to clarify graft allegations made against him in a tabloid magazine.

A key architect of the government’s "Abenomics" policies, Amari and his secretary have been accused by the weekly Shukan Bunshun magazine of taking money from an unidentified construction company in an alleged violation of a political funding law.

Akira Amari in Davos

Photographer: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg

“I want him to show good faith and clear up the graft allegations,” Tetsuro Fukuyama, vice secretary general at the DPJ, said on an NHK television program Sunday. The party wants to hear from Amari on Monday before the start of the House of Representatives’ plenary session, which is scheduled to start a day later, Fukuyama said.

“I feel that this is not the place to talk about my personal scandal,” Amari said in Davos on Saturday, when asked about the magazine’s allegations. “In the course of next week I should be in a position to give a press conference.”

A mix of fiscal stimulus and monetary easing known as Abenomics has spurred corporate profits, increased tax revenue and fueled a rally for Japanese stocks since Shinzo Abe’s election as prime minister in December 2012.

Abe has indicated he wants Amari to continue fulfilling his duties, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroshige Seko said in a speech on Saturday, NHK reported on its website.

(Adds comment from government official in last paragraph.)
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