Ex-Justice Min. Kawai, Wife Offer to Leave LDP


Tokyo, June 17 (Jiji Press)--Former Japanese Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai and his wife, Anri, on Wednesday offered to leave the ruling Liberal Democratic Party over an election scandal involving Anri's camp, party sources said.

The LDP's leadership team plans to accept the couple's resignations from the party, the sources said. The development looks certain to deal a blow to the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as Katsuyuki is close to the prime minister and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, pundits said.

A former policy secretary to Katsuyuki and a state-paid secretary to Anri are on trial for allegedly paying a daily amount exceeding the legal limit to staff workers of Anri's campaign for the July 2019 election for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament.

Anri won a parliamentary seat for the first time in the election, running in the poll from the prefectural constituency of Hiroshima, western Japan.

On Tuesday, Hiroshima District Court sentenced Anri's secretary to 18 months in prison, suspended for five years. The defense side said it is considering whether to appeal the ruling.

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Jiji Press