Abe Administration Suffers Blow from Lawmaker Arrests

Politics

Tokyo, June 19 (Jiji Press)--The arrests of former Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai and his wife, House of Councillors lawmaker Anri, over vote-buying allegations are expected to have a great impact on the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The two lawmakers, who have both seceded from the ruling liberal Democratic Party, were close to Abe and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, and the opposition bloc is expected to grill the prime minister on the matter.

"I feel responsibility for having appointed (Kawai) as justice minister," Abe said at a press conference on Thursday. "I apologize to the people."

However, he declined to speak about the details of the allegations, and instead made a general statement on how all lawmakers must shape up.

The Kawais are suspected of having distributed millions of yen to local politicians to help Anri to win her first parliamentary seat in the July 2019 election for the Upper House.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press