Japanese Lawmaker Resigns After Insider Trading Scandal
TOKYO (AP) _ An opposition legislator resigned from parliament today because of a growing insider trading scandal. His action put pressure on members of the governing Liberal Democratic Party who are tied to the affair.
They include Japan’s Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita.
″I accept responsibility, resign from my parliamentary seat and apologize deeply to the people,″ said Takumi Ueda of the Japan Socialist Party. ″I cannot allow my name to be used by some people to hinder our party’s battle to reveal the entire scandal.″
Ueda, who like other lawmakers blames the stock transactions on an aide, is the first legislator to resign because of the scandal.
Dozens of prominent people reportedly were offered bargain-priced shares of Recruit-Cosmos, a real estate firm, before the stocks were traded publicly. The stocks quickly rose in value after trading began and inside purchasers made as much as $960,000. The government says that was legal. But opposition parties say the practice is unethical.
Ueda’s resignation is likely to increase pressure on leaders of the governing Liberal Democratic Party linked to the affair, including Takeshita, Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa and former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone. All have acknowledged aides bought the stock in their names. But they deny direct personal involvement.
Political analysts doubt that prominent Liberal Democratic Party politicians will step down. But they say Ueda’s resignation will put pressure on them to clarify the degree of their involvement and stoke public criticism.
Since the scandal surfaced in July, parliamentary debate over a key tax reforms pushed by the governing party has been paralyzed by resistance from opposition parties.