Kawais Plead Not Guilty over Vote-Buying Scandal
Tokyo, Aug. 25 (Jiji Press)--Former Japanese Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai and his lawmaker wife, Anri, pleaded not guilty in their trial Tuesday over an alleged vote-buying scandal tied to the July 2019 national election.
Katsuyuki, 57, and Anri, 46, are suspected of distributing cash mainly to mayors and assembly members of Hiroshima Prefecture to round up votes for Anri in the House of Councillors election in violation of the public offices election law.
Anri was elected to parliament for the first time in the Upper House election. Her husband is a member of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber. Both of their constituencies are in the western Japan prefecture.
The couple left the ruling Liberal Democratic Party the day before their arrests June 18.
Katsuyuki is the first former justice minister in Japan who has been put on trial in the postwar period.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]