Funding scandal charge adds to crisis
Tuesday 01 February 2011
Ichiro Ozawa, the power broker of the Japanese ruling party, was charged yesterday over a funding scandal, adding to Prime Minister Naoto Kan's woes as he struggles to survive in the face of a divided parliament and sagging support.
Mr Ozawa's indictment will give fresh ammunition to opposition parties who control parliament's upper house and are refusing to join multiparty talks on tax reform to curb Japan's huge debt and opposing the government-sponsored budget for the year from April.
The opposition is instead trying to force Mr Kan either to resign or call a snap election for the powerful lower chamber. "We want him [Mr Ozawa] to explain in his own words. We want him to testify in parliament," said Nobuteru Ishihara, secretary general of the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party.
Mr Ozawa, a seasoned political strategist who once headed the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), faced mandatory indictment over suspected misreporting by his political funds body after a lay judicial panel decided last year that he must be charged. Mr Ozawa, 68, said he was innocent and told reporters he had no intention of leaving the party.
The scandal has helped drag down voter support for the government to about 30 per cent and caused a split in the DPJ over Mr Ozawa's fate, after Mr Kan hinted that he should leave the DPJ and resign his seat in parliament once he was indicted.
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
- 1 Scottish independence results live: Reunited kingdom - Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum
- 2 Scottish referendum results: David Cameron set to unveil major devolution of powers to England
- 3 iOS 8 is full of shiny new features - but it's terrible news for app developers
- 4 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Scottish independence results live: Reunited kingdom - Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum
Scottish referendum results: David Cameron set to unveil major devolution of powers to England
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish independence: YouGov final prediction puts No campaign 8 points ahead - but Yes team remains optimistic
Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...
£6720 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: Randstad Eduction are...
£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Are you a Teacher looking fo...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Leicester: Are you a Newly Qualified Teacher lo...