At Court, Lawmaker Anri Kawai Again Denies Buying Votes


Tokyo, Nov. 13 (Jiji Press)--Japanese lawmaker Anri Kawai, who is charged with vote-buying tied to the July 2019 national election, again denied the allegations in her trial on Friday.

“I had no thought about buying votes with money,” Kawai said during questioning by her defense team at Tokyo District Court. She spoke about her case by herself at court for the first time since her first hearing on Aug. 25.

Kawai, who is out on bail, reiterated that the cash she distributed to local politicians in Hiroshima Prefecture, western Japan, were for encouraging them for their local election campaigns or congratulating them on election wins.

Public prosecutors believe that Kawai, 47, and her husband, Katsuyuki, 57, former justice minister, provided the cash to shore up votes for Anri in the election in July 2019 for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, Japan’s parliament.

The Kawais were arrested in June this year for their alleged vote-buying for Anri in the Upper House election in violation of the public offices election law. Katsuyuki, a lawmaker of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, is in a separate trial over the charges. Both of them are pleading not guilty.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press