Sagawa Kyūbin was a parcel delivery company that became the focus of media attention in 1992. The starting point of the scandal associated with its name was a press allegation, soon confirmed by the company, that the leading LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY (LDP) politician, KANEMARU SHIN, had failed to report, as required by law, a donation of 500,000,000 from the Sagawa Kyūbin company.
Kanemaru was fined a small sum (200,000) for this misdemeanour, but the press unearthed the fact that in 1987 he had asked the President of the company to make contact with an ultra-rightist organisation. The rightists had been publicly praising Kanemaru's close factional associate, TAKESHITA NOBORU, with a view to discrediting him by demonstrating his association with the far right. The intervention had been successful in its aim, but in the process a gangster group had been involved and Kanemaru had personally thanked the head of this group.
In September 1992 Kanemaru's house was raided by police investigating Sagawa Kyūbin. The police found enormous amounts of money and gold bars.
Public reaction against the derisory fine, his connections with gangsters, and plain evidence of corrupt dealing resulted in Kanemaru's departure from politics. The political ramifications were profound, since the affair was a principal cause of the split in the Takeshita faction that in turn led to defections from the LDP and its eviction from office the next year, ushering in a period of coalition governments.
Sasaki Kōzō was a left-wing member of the JAPAN SOCIALIST PARTY (JSP), who served as Chairman between May 1965 and August 1967.
Born in 1900 in northern Japan (and famous for his Tōhoku accent), he was on the Marxist left of the JSP in the post-war period, and seemed the natural successor to SUZUKI MOSABURŌ, who dominated the left-wing Socialists throughout the late 1940s and the 1950s. But after the assassination of ASANUMA INEJIRŌ during the general election campaign in November 1960, EDA SABURŌ, a member of the same faction as Sasaki, was able to make a bid for party leadership using his theories of 'structural reform' and proclaiming the 'Eda vision'. Sasaki, allied with Professor Sakisaka's Socialism Association and with the sympathy of the General Council of Japanese Trade Unions (Sōhyō) leadership, was able to defeat Eda's proposals at the party Congress held in November 1962.
After a series of complicated factional struggles, Sasaki was elected Chairman in May 1965, and the next year successfully fought off a challenge from Eda. For a short while he held a dominant position in the party. In 1967, however, the leadership negotiated a compromise with the LDP over health insurance law revision, but the compromise was repudiated by the Association of JSP Parliamentarians. Sasaki and his deputy, NARITA TOMOMI, promptly resigned, but to prevent the possibility of Eda taking over, the Sasaki and Katsu