Ex-Min. Sugawara Escapes Indictment over Money Scandal
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Tokyo, June 25 (Jiji Press)--Public prosecutors decided Thursday to stop short of indicting former industry minister Isshu Sugawara over a money scandal that forced him to resign from office last October.
The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office's special investigation squad made the decision, taking into account that Sugawara, 58, has admitted to charges against him and publicly apologized for the matter, according to informed sources.
At the center of the scandal was "koden" condolence money distributed by a secretary to the House of Representatives lawmaker of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
Japan's public offices election law bans in principle donations by politicians to voters in their constituencies, except for some cases including koden payments at funerals and wakes attended by politicians themselves.
The prosecutors have found that Sugawara donated a total of about 300,000 yen to 27 people in his constituency in Tokyo through his secretary between July 2017 and October 2019, including in the name of koden for their relatives' deaths.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]