Secretary to Lawmaker Kawai Nabbed for Illegal Campaigning

Society Politics

Hiroshima, March 3 (Jiji Press)--Japanese prosecutors on Tuesday arrested a government-paid secretary to ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Anri Kawai and two others for allegedly paying some campaign staff members more than a legal limit at the time of an election last year.

The illegal campaigning scandal, which came to light through a magazine report in October last year and forced the lawmaker's husband, Katsuyuki Kawai, to resign as justice minister, has now led to the arrest of three people.

Under the public offices election law, lawmakers' election results will be annulled if their secretaries are found guilty of bribing campaign staff members, even if the lawmakers themselves were not involved in the misconduct.

On Tuesday morning, the Hiroshima District Public Prosecutors Office searched the Tokyo office of Kawai, a member of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of Japan's parliament, and also the Tokyo office of her husband, a member of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber. The prosecutors launched the search of Kawai's office in the city of Hiroshima in western Japan in the afternoon the same day.

The arrested secretary to Kawai is Hiroshi Tatemichi, 54. The two others under arrest are Shinsuke Takaya, 43, a policy secretary to Kawai's husband, and Yugo Waki, 71, who is unemployed.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press