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Japanese PM pays $6.6 mn as gift tax after funding row

Last Updated: Sunday, December 27, 2009 - 17:49

Tokyo: As his approval rating dipped further
following a major political funding scandal, Japanese Prime
Minister Yukio Hatoyama on Sunday said he has paid gift tax of
around 600 million yen (USD 6.60 million) for 1.26 billion yen
he received from his mother.

"I declared the tax (600 million yen) instead of revising
the tax return," Hatoyama told reporters prior to his
departure for India.

Hatoyama sent a tax return on Friday to a tax office in
Muroran, Hokkaido, Kyodo news agency quoted people close to
the Prime Minister as saying.

Hatoyama, 62, is a House of Representatives member for a
district in Hokkaido. Hatoyama acted following the indictment
on Thursday of two of his former state-paid secretaries for
falsifying fund reports over a political funds scandal
involving 1.26 billion yen provided by his rich mother.

The Prime Minister`s mother, Yasuko Hatoyama, realising
that her son`s aides were facing difficulties in raising
political funds, allegedly provided 15 million yen per month
over the seven years through last year, totaling around 1.26
billion yen. Some of the money is believed to have been logged
as donations from fictitious donors, the report said.

Yasuko Hatoyama is a billionaire who inherited a fortune
from her father, who founded Japan?s top tire maker
Bridgestone Corp.

The Prime Minister, who was exempted from indictment over
the case, denied having any knowledge of the large sum of
money that had been provided by his mother.


First Published: Sunday, December 27, 2009 - 17:49
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