100 People Seen Escaping Indictment over Cash from Kawais

Society

Tokyo, July 6 (Jiji Press)--Public prosecutors are unlikely to indict any of the 100 people who received cash from former Japanese Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai or his wife, Anri, in a high-profile vote-buying scandal related to her 2019 national election campaign, it was learned Tuesday.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office's special investigation squad believes that Katsuyuki, 58, forcibly gave cash to many of them and that the level of maliciousness of those who received the money was therefore low, according to sources familiar with the investigations.

But the prosecutors' plan not to indict the 100 people over public offices election law violation is expected to stir controversy as some of them received as much as millions of yen.

According to the court rulings handed down so far over the vote-buying case, the 100 people, including regional assembly members and local government leaders in Hiroshima Prefecture, western Japan, and members of a supporter group for Anri, received a total of some 28.7 million yen from the Kawais in March-August 2019 in return for voting for Anri or rounding up votes for her in the election in July that year for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament. Running from the Hiroshima prefectural constituency, Anri, 47, won an Upper House seat for the first time in the election.

A secretary of Shizuka Kamei, a former member of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, received the largest amount, 3 million yen, and a veteran Hiroshima prefectural assembly member was given 2 million yen. The lowest amount given per person was 50,000 yen.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press