Japan PM wants ban on pol. donations from firms

Japan PM wants ban on pol. donations from firms Tokyo: Amid sagging voters' support due to funding scandals within his ruling party, Japan Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has again said that he would like to prohibit donations from corporations and organisations to politicians.

"I understand that people are very angry, complaining that nothing has been changed necessarily, especially in terms of the politics and money issue, and I am honestly sorry," Hatoyama said yesterday when asked what he thinks about the six months since taking office September 16.

"I believe that we should pursue a ban on donations from companies and organisations and a reform on the relationships between politicians and their secretaries," he said.

"I would like to quickly come up with the answer to this matter (through discussions) between the ruling and opposition camps," said Hatoyama, who also leads the ruling Democratic Party of Japan.

Hatoyama said that his government should also be credited with having "boldly challenged" the issue of collusive relations among politicians, bureaucrats and industries, or the issue of wasteful spending at administrative offices, which he claims used to be rampant under the previous governments led by the Liberal Democratic Party.

Comparing himself to an orchestra conductor, Hatoyama said he understands that many people may think that being "the conductor is fine, but he does not necessarily create beautiful sound" or that "the conductor is invisible."

He was apparently referring to criticism that he is unable to keep a grip on power in his government.