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Okinawa politician now linked to Defense procurement scandal

Date Posted: 2007-11-22

Mikio Shimoji, a veteran and often controversial Okinawa politician who won a House of Representatives seat after abandoning his political party, has been tied to the Defense procurement scandal in Japan.

Shimoji, government investigators say, sold •400,000 worth of tickets to a political rally and party as he vied for the First Election District set last year, to a former defense contractor. Gen Miyazaki, the former executive director of Yamada Youko, has already been arrested on charges of using the trading firmís money to purchase the tickets.

Shimoji has also been linked to relationships with the former Vice Defense Minister, Takemasa Moriya, for participating in a golf tournament with him. Moriya has come under fire for his relationships with Miyazaki, now president of Nihon Mirise Corporation, a defense equipment vendor. ďI donít know exactly how this company bought my party tickets, and I donít know who played golf with him,Ē Shimoji says, but adds ďIím thinking I will return the •400,000 to the company.Ē

Yamada Youko Trading Company bought party tickets from many political campaigns, but police officials say the money was illegally handled. Metropolitan Police say much of the money used to front Shimoji and other politicians had been embezzled from Yamada Youko.

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