Nikai, Amari Deny Blame for Scandal-Linked LDP Funds
Tokyo, May 19 (Jiji Press)--Toshihiro Nikai and Akira Amari, heavyweights of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, have denied responsibility for party spending seen used for alleged vote-buying involving a former LDP lawmaker.
Each claimed that they had nothing to do with the suspected transfer of a total of 150 million yen from LDP headquarters to the camp of scandal-hit Anri Kawai for distribution ahead of the 2019 election for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of parliament.
Kawai won a seat in the election with support from then Prime Minister and LDP President Shinzo Abe and then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the current prime minister. Her election to the Upper House was nullified, however, once her guilty ruling about the vote-buying case became final in February this year.
After denying involvement with the outlays in question on Monday, Nikai, secretary-general of the LDP, told a news conference on Tuesday, "I'm responsible for overall issues, but the strategies and support plans for respective constituencies are up to each official in charge of the constituency."
The Nikai side referred to Amari, then chairman of the LDP's Election Strategy Committee, as the official in charge of the Hiroshima prefectural constituency, where Kawai was fielded by the LDP in the July 2019 election.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]