The opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) announced Tuesday an e-mail, which they had alleged had been issued by indicted Livedoor founder Takafumi Horie to order a payment to the son of a top ruling party official, is false, Kyodo News reported.
The DPJ admitted in a statement that investigations proved that the e-mail is not authentic, saying it was not sent by Horie to order a payment to the second son of Tsutomu Takebe, Secretary General of the Liberal Democratic Party.
The DPJ lawmaker Hisayasu Nagata, who triggered the email fuss, apologized on Tuesday for his earlier allegation.
Nagata acknowledged on a press conference that he failed to verify the authenticity of the e-mail and apologized for stirring up Diet deliberations over his allegation.
Yoshiniko Noda, the parliament affairs panel chief of the DPJ also resigned his post Tuesday over the email fuss.
Nagata alleged on Feb. 16 in a Diet session that former Livedoor Co. President Takafumi Horie ordered in an email to have 30 million yen (about 258,600 U.S. dollars) sent to a son of Takabe.
However, mounting doubts about the authenticity of the email have put Nagata at corner. Apparently being incapable to present new evidence to support his allegation, Nagata was hospitalized due to what his party called fatigue. He went out of hospital on Tuesday morning. The DPJ was also dragged in a difficult situation for the email fuss.
The allegation, if proved to be true, could damage the LDP and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who supported Horie's failed bid for a seat in the lower house of parliament in elections in November 2005.
Horie, founder of the Tokyo-based Internet firm Livedoor, was arrested in January and indicted in February with three former executives of the firm, for alleged violation of the Securities and Exchange Law. The Livedoor scandal has briefly wavered the stock market and affected the national politics.