Ex-Lawmaker Kawai's Guilty Ruling Finalized


Tokyo, Feb. 5 (Jiji Press)--Former Japanese lawmaker Anri Kawai's 16-month prison sentence, suspended for five years, over vote-buying became final on Friday.

Neither Kawai, 47, nor prosecutors filed an appeal against the Tokyo District Court ruling by the deadline of the end of Thursday. The prosecution had demanded a longer prison term of 18 months without suspension for Kawai.

Kawai resigned as a lawmaker of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament, on Wednesday. She won the Upper House seat, her first in the Diet, in the July 2019 election for the chamber, running for the Hiroshima prefectural constituency.

The finalized guilty verdict nullified her election to the Upper House. An Upper House by-election in the western Japan prefecture is set to be held on April 25. Following the finalized guilty ruling, Kawai will be stripped of her civil rights for five years and will thus be banned from running in public office elections during that period.

In the Jan. 21 ruling, the Tokyo court said that Kawai in March-May 2019 asked four Hiroshima prefectural assembly members to cast their votes or round up votes for her in the July 2019 election and in return handed a total of 1.6 million yen in cash to them in conspiracy with her husband, former Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai, 57, in violation of the public offices election law.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press