Police Probing Dubious Signatures for Aichi Governor Recall
Nagoya, March 1 (Jiji Press)--Local police have launched an investigation into dubious signatures collected for a petition to recall Hideaki Omura, governor of Aichi Prefecture, central Japan.
The Aichi prefectural police department raided local election boards and confiscated the lists of signatures of some 435,000 people, many of which may have been collected through unfair methods.
The move to dismiss Omura was started by a group including Katsuya Takasu, a high-profile cosmetic surgeon, in opposition to the governor's response over the Aichi Triennale 2019 art festival. The event featured some controversial artworks, including a statue of a girl symbolizing so-called comfort women, mainly Koreans, who served as prostitutes for Japanese troops before and during World War II.
Takashi Kawamura, mayor of Nagoya, the capital of Aichi, and others supported the move by the group, which collected the signatures in Aichi for two months from late August last year.
After receiving complaints from residents that their signatures were collected fraudulently, the prefectural election board checked the signatures and found that some 360,000 of the 435,000 signatures, or more than 80 pct of the total, could not be recognized as valid.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]