Serious suspicions arise concerning the committees for the inquest of prosecution
(directly controlled by the Supreme Court) that made Ichiro Ozawa into a criminal defendant
(Did such committees actually exist?)
Takehiko Shiki (author of the attached book Saikosai no Wana: The Trap for Ozawa)
1. Overview of the indictment decision by the committees and its impact In March 2009, as anticipation grew about a shift of power from the Liberal Democratic Party to the Democratic Party of Japan, the Special Investigation Department of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office began an investigation of Ichiro Ozawa, the President of the Democratic Party of Japan, who was pegged to become the next prime minister following the shift of power. This investigation was in response to suspicions that political donations had been made to Mr. Ozawa through dummy organizations of the Nishimatsu Construction Co., Ltd.
The Special Investigation Department indicted Mr. Ozawa’s aid Takanori Okubo forcibly, and Mr. Ozawa was forced to step down as president of the party. Following the change of administrations, Mr. Ozawa was investigated with regard to a separate matter of an alleged violation of the Political Funding Control Law (by his organization Rikuzankai), but the violation could not be confirmed, and in February 2010, the case was dropped because of insufficient evidence. A citizens’ organization, which protested the dropping of the case, filed a complaint with the Committees for the Inquest of Prosecution. The Tokyo No. 5 Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution, which received this complaint, began an inquest in March 2010.
In April and September, the committees, each of which consists of 11 members, issued decisions that the case “merits indictment.” (It had been established that from May 21, 2009 onward, if a second decision has been made that a case “merits indictment,” then indictment will become mandatory.)
Accordingly, Mr. Ozawa was mandatorily indicted in January 2011, and as a criminal defendant, his political activities were restricted until he was acquitted in November 2012. The Democratic Party of Japan, which let go of Mr. Ozawa because he was a criminal defendant, suffered a staggering defeat
in the general election, and Mr. Ozawa became the leader of a small opposition party. The mandatory indictment system for the Committees for the Inquest of Prosecution, which entered into force last year, has significantly changed politics in Japan.
※To be continued