Japan Abolishes Committee For Humanitarian Aid to South Kuril Islands Dwellers

On Friday the Japanese government abolished a committee for humanitarian aid to the dwellers of four Russian South Kuril Islands, which Japan lays claims to.

The measure is concerned with the committee's involvement in scandal brought upon ex-MP of Japan's Parliament Muneo Suzuki, a source in the Japanese government informed journalists.

The scandal broke out in February 2002, when Japanese authorities initiated proceedings against Suzuki, an activist of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, who was informally considered a political monitor of Tokyo's diplomatic policy with regard to Russia and other ex-USSR republics.

The ex-MP was arrested on accusation of malversations in the process of distributing state orders within the framework of the governmental programme of humanitarian aid to the dwellers of the Southern Kurils and taking a bribe to the tune of 5 mln yen /$40,000/.

The row was interpreted by Moscow as a domestic affair of the Japanese government.