Former Aide Denies Fraud in Campaign for Ex-Minister's Wife

Society

Hiroshima, June 12 (Jiji Press)--A former policy secretary to former Japanese Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai denied Friday charges of election law violation over a campaign for Kawai's wife, Anri, for last July's House of Councillors poll.

In the first hearing for his trial at Hiroshima District Court in western Japan, Shinsuke Takaya, 43, denied playing any part in over-the-limit payments to campaign workers. "I've never been involved in a decision on how much (the workers) should get or in the payment processes."

Anri, a member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, won her first parliamentary seat in the July 21, 2019, election for the upper chamber of the Diet, the country's parliament. She ran in the poll from the Hiroshima prefectural constituency.

Katsuyuki, also an LDP member and lawmaker in the House of Representatives, the lower chamber, resigned as justice minister last autumn, after the wife's election campaign scandal came to light.

According to the indictment, Takaya violated the public offices election law for conspiring with those including Hiroshi Tatemichi, 54, a state-paid secretary to Anri, to pay a daily amount exceeding the legal limit of 15,000 yen per person to 14 campaign workers for Anri between around July 19 and 23 last year. Total payments reached 2.04 million yen.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press