BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Chinese Vietnamese Burmese Thai Indonesian
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Asia-Pacific  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 19 June, 2002, 09:25 GMT 10:25 UK
Japanese politician arrested
Muneo Suzuki
Mr Suzuki, pictured before his arrest, denies corruption
A senior Japanese politician, Muneo Suzuki, has been arrested on corruption charges.

Mr Suzuki, 54, was taken into custody after an arrest warrant was approved by parliament - a requirement under Japanese law.


Suzuki should resign from parliament immediately

Takenori Kanzaki, New Komeito party chief
He is accused of accepting a $40,000 bribe from a timber company in return for lenient treatment in an illegal logging case. He denies the charge, saying the money was a gift.

The BBC's Charles Scanlon, in Tokyo, says it is the latest in a series of scandals that have undermined the popularity of the Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi.

Hitting the headlines

Mr Suzuki is a former power-broker for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and has been portrayed in the media as the archetypal string-puller.

He gave up his membership of the Liberal Democratic Party in March, as allegations of corruption surfaced against him, but he still holds a seat in parliament.

The lower house of parliament is expected to vote on whether or not to urge Mr Suzuki to resign from parliament this week.

Takenori Kanzaki, who heads the Buddhist-backed New Komeito party, a partner in the ruling coalition, said: "Muneo Suzuki's political and moral responsibilities are extremely grave. Suzuki should resign from parliament immediately."

Mr Suzuki first hit the headlines earlier this year when he led a campaign to bring down the highly-popular Foreign Minister, Makiko Tanaka.

But the Japanese public reacted with fury when it was revealed that Mr Suzuki's held significant influence within the Foreign Ministry.
Prime Minister Koizumi
The popularity of Junichiro Koizumi has suffered

He held no official post but top bureaucrats deferred to him on a range of policy issues and overseas aid projects.

He is accused of having used his influence to ensure overseas contracts went to his friends in the construction industry.

A dam project in Kenya and building work on Russian islands claimed by Japan have come in for particular scrutiny.

Our correspondent says Mr Koizumi has suffered by association.

He came to office promising to clean up the political system but continuing scandals show little has changed.

Mr Koizumi's agenda of political and economic reforms has become bogged down, while the discredited old guard in his party is gaining the upper hand once again.

See also:

17 Jun 02 | Asia-Pacific
26 Mar 02 | Asia-Pacific
15 Mar 02 | Asia-Pacific
01 Feb 02 | Asia-Pacific
11 Mar 02 | Asia-Pacific
29 Jan 02 | Asia-Pacific
26 Nov 01 | Asia-Pacific
30 Jan 02 | Media reports
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes