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Power firm execs account for 72% of individual donations to LDP in 2009.

TOKYO, July 23 Kyodo

More than 70 percent of donations made by individuals in 2009 to the political fund management body of the Liberal Democratic Party came from executives, including retired ones, of Tokyo Electric Power Co. and eight other utilities, according to data compiled by Kyodo News.

With the finding, donation-based relations between politicians and electric power companies, which have promoted nuclear power generation, are expected to draw fire in the wake of the crisis at Tokyo Electric's Fukushima Daiichi atomic power plant crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disaster, analysts said.

Kyodo analyzed the People's Political Association's income and expenditure reports on political funds for 2007 to 2009 released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

In 2009, the association received 64.85 million yen in political donations from individuals. Of the total, 47.02 million yen or 72.5 percent came from executives of the nine electric power companies.

Tokyo Electric executives contributed a total of 14.27 million yen, or 30.3 percent of the 47.02 million yen, to the political fund management body of the LDP, which was voted out of power in 2009 after a nearly continuous rein over the previous half century.

Donations from executives amounted to 6.80 million yen for Chugoku Electric Power Co., 6.15 million yen for Chubu Electric Power Co., 6.12 million yen for Shikoku Electric Power Co., 3.13 million yen for Hokuriku Electric Power Co., 3.04 million yen for Hokkaido Electric Power Co., 2.75 million yen for Kyushu Electric Power Co., 2.63 million yen for Tohoku Electric Power Co. and 1.86 million yen for Kansai Electric Power Co.

Okinawa Electric Power Co. executives made no donations.

Donations by power firm executives came mostly in December, indicating that they were made systematically.

In 1974, the electric power industry declared an end to political donations by utilities amid strong criticism of their cozy relations with politicians.

Among other findings, 141 or 92.2 percent of the 153 executives at the nine power companies in 2009 made donations to the LDP's political fund management body.

Donations by power executives to the association amounted to 56.69 million yen in 2007 and 58.66 million yen in 2008, accounting for 63.5 and 70.1 percent of total contributions by individuals, respectively, in those two years.

Kyodo confirmed no contribution from the executives in 2009 to the political fund management body of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan.
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Publication:Japan Energy Scan
Date:Jul 25, 2011
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