18 Months in Prison Sought for Lawmaker Anri Kawai

Society Politics

Tokyo, Dec. 15 (Jiji Press)--Public prosecutors demanded on Tuesday a prison term of 18 months for Japanese House of Councillors lawmaker Anri Kawai over an election law violation during her campaign last year.

Kawai, 47, who is suspected of buying votes in the July 2019 Upper House election in violation of the public offices election law, committed an "extremely heinous offense that is unheard of," prosecutors said in their closing statement at Tokyo District Court, presided over by Judge Yasuaki Takahashi.

Prosecutors said that, while her husband, House of Representatives lawmaker and former Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai, led her election campaign and her vote-buying activities, Anri was also directly involved.

"The motive to win the election was selfish and caused citizens to lose faith in the fairness of elections," they said.

Prosecutors said that testimonies of people who received cash from her, including local assembly members in her constituency, can be trusted, as the statements included parts that are disadvantageous to them.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press