Ex-Lawmaker Toyama Guilty over COVID-19 Loan Brokering


Tokyo, March 29 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo District Court on Tuesday handed down a guilty sentence to former Japanese ruling coalition lawmaker Kiyohiko Toyama for his illegal brokering of COVID-19 relief loans of government-affiliated Japan Finance Corp.

Presiding Judge Toshihiko Niwa gave the 52-year-old former member of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament, a two-year prison term, suspended for three years, and fined him 1 million yen for violating the moneylending business law.

In his trial, Toyama, a former member of Komeito, the coalition partner of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, had admitted the charges, and the defense side had asked for a lenient ruling. Public prosecutors had demanded that Toyama, who has also served as state minister of finance, be sentenced to two years in prison without suspension and fined 1 million yen.

"This is a crime going against the principles of the law," the judge said. The ruling is set to become final as Toyama does not intend to challenge it.

The total value of JFC loans brokered by Toyama topped 3.7 billion yen because he unlimitedly accepted numerous loan brokerage requests made to his secretary and others, the judge said, noting that this went beyond the extent allowed for political activities related to responding to petitions since the amount was too large.

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Jiji Press