TOKYO — The entire leadership of Japan's biggest opposition party will step down after a party member falsely accused the son of a ruling party leader of financial links with disgraced Internet company Livedoor, news reports said today.
Seiji Maehara, head of the Democratic Party of Japan, and his secretary general, Yukio Hatoyama, told colleagues that they would resign, Kyodo News agency and national broadcaster NHK reported.
All of the party's estimated 90 steering members also will resign, and the party will select new leaders in a week, the reports said.
The party had issued an apology this month after it found that allegations made in Parliament by party legislator Hisayasu Nagata -- in which he implicated the son of Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Tsutomu Takebe -- were unfounded.
As evidence, Nagata had furnished a purported e-mail from Livedoor chief Takafumi Horie ordering a payout to Takebe's son. But Nagata later acknowledged that he was unable to verify the e-mail's authenticity.
Horie and four other Livedoor executives have been under arrest since January on charges of doctoring financial statements, artificially inflating stocks and providing false information about earnings of a subsidiary.