Kan admits receiving donation from foreigner

KanJapan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan has admitted that his political fund management body accepted a donation from a South Korean resident in Japan. He says he will not resign over the issue.

Japan’s Asahi newspaper reports that Kan’s fund group received more than 12,000 US dollars from a former director of a financial institution affiliated with South Korean residents of Japan in 2006 and 2009.

The newspaper said the donation was made under a Japanese name. Accepting donations from foreign nationals is illegal if done so knowingly. Kan said he was not aware the donor was a foreigner.

Tokyo has had diplomatic spats in recent months with both China and Russia over disputed islands in the region, and faces an ongoing threat from nearby North Korea.

"In order to ensure safety and prosperity of the Japanese people, the most important task for the government is to deepen Japan-U.S. alliance and push for economic diplomacy," Matsumoto said after he was formally sworn in at a palace ceremony.

Still, Matsumoto said he wants to review and improve the decades-old alliance so that it "suits the 21st century." He did not elaborate.

The 51-year-old veteran lawmaker in the ruling Democratic Party of Japan was a second-ranking official at the ministry. He is seen as pro-U.S. and is unlikely to change the general direction of Japan’s foreign policy.

Less than a week ago, his Foreign Minister, Seiji Maehara resigned over a similar issue.


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