Governor Recall Campaign Exec, 3 Others Held over Forged Signatures


Nagoya, May 19 (Jiji Press)--Police arrested Wednesday a senior member of a group seeking the recall of Hideaki Omura, governor of Aichi Prefecture, central Japan, and three others for their suspected roles in the fabrication of signatures collected for the campaign.

Arrested by the Aichi prefectural police department for alleged violation of the local autonomy law were Takahiro Tanaka, 59, chief of the secretariat for the group and former member of the Aichi prefectural assembly, his wife, Naomi, 58, the couple's second son, Masato, 28, and Michiyo Watanabe, 54, in charge of accounting for the secretariat.

The four are suspected of forging signatures for the recall campaign around late last October by hiring people outside Aichi and letting them write signatures for residents of the prefecture.

The police did not disclose whether the four suspects have admitted to the charges. Also on Wednesday, investigators from the police department raided Tanaka's home and other places for evidence to back up the charges, believing that Tanaka led the scheme.

Tanaka was arrested at a facility in Shizuoka Prefecture, adjacent to Aichi, where he was staying on Wednesday morning. Early this month, Tanaka told reporters that he did not think his act regarding the signatures was illegal.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press