Once one of the most powerful politicians in Japan, Ichiro Ozawa was acquitted by the Tokyo High Court on Monday of charges of misreporting political funds.
This year in April, the Tokyo District Court had also acquitted Ozawa in this high-profile case, Kyodo reported.
Judges decided thus that Ozawa had done nothing wrong when he failed initially to report Y400 million ($5 million), money he had loaned to the funding body supporting his political organization.
Ozawa formed a new opposition party in July after leaving the ruling Democratic Party of Japan. Ozawa’s departure was a blow for prime minister Yoshihiko Noda. He was the main opponent of prime minister Noda’s in the latter’s efforts of promoting a bill that raises the sales tax.
Ozawa, 70-year-old, is dubbed the “destroyer” and “Shadow Shogun” by Japanese media for instigating splits in several political parties in the last twenty years.
The ruling on Ozawa in the false political funds reporting case could have a major impact on the Japanese political scene ahead of the next general election.