Ex-Justice Min. Kawai, Wife Questioned over Campaign Scandal
Hiroshima, May 9 (Jiji Press)--Japanese prosecutors questioned House of Councillors lawmaker Anri Kawai and her husband, former Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai, during the Golden Week holiday period on a voluntary basis over an election campaign money scandal, it was learned Saturday.
The Hiroshima District Public Prosecutors Office is looking into allegations that the Kawais distributed cash to influential local politicians in Hiroshima Prefecture, western Japan, to shore up votes for Anri, 46, in the election last July for the upper chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament.
The office is investigating the case for possible bribery in violation of the public offices election law. Prosecutors from the office questioned the couple in Tokyo during the latter half of the holiday period that started in late April and ended in early May, informed sources said.
Hiroshima prosecutors have so far conducted voluntary questions with local government heads, and prefectural and municipal assembly members in Hiroshima. Some of them have said they received cash from Katsuyuki, 57, a lawmaker of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet.
According to the local leaders who admitted to receiving the money, the cash was given to them before or after the unified local elections in April 2019 as gifts to encourage candidates during their local election campaigns or congratulate those who were elected.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]