34 Indicted for Allegedly Receiving Cash from Ex-Justice Min.

Society

Tokyo, March 14 (Jiji Press)--Japanese prosecutors on Monday indicted 34 people for allegedly receiving cash from former Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai in a high-profile vote-buying scandal over the 2019 House of Councillors election.

According to the indictments, the 34 received a total of around 20.1 million yen from Kawai, 59, and his wife, Anri, 48, a former House of Councillors lawmaker, in March-August 2019. The cash was aimed at gathering votes for her in the Upper House election.

Over the scandal, the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office initially decided in July last year not to indict the 34, mainly local politicians in the western prefecture of Hiroshima, and others suspected of receiving cash from the couple.

The indictment came, however, after a prosecution inquest panel in December reversed the initial decision by the prosecutors.

Of the 34, nine were indicted without arrest and 25 faced summary indictments seeking fines. They include a then head of a municipality, 11 who were Hiroshima prefectural assembly members at the time and 17 who were assembly members of municipalities in the same prefecture.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press