Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 March 4 - 10  > Abe should take responsible attitude toward election scandal involving ex-Justice Minister
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2020 March 4 - 10 [POLITICS]

Abe should take responsible attitude toward election scandal involving ex-Justice Minister

March 6, 2020

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

In November 2019, the then Justice Minister Kawai Katsuyuki resigned over an alleged violation of the election law involving his wife, Anri, who is a Liberal Democratic Party member of the House of Councilors. Four months later, three key persons in this scandal, including secretaries of the couple, were arrested on March 3. If they are found guilty, Anri can be forced to vacate her seat under a provision of the Public Office Election Law.

The allegation concerns the 2019 Upper House election when Anri was elected from the Hiroshima electoral district. It is suspected that her campaign office bought votes by paying campaign staffers wages much higher than the upper limit set by the Public Office Election Law (15,000 yen per day).

Anri’s campaign was in effect directed by her husband, Katsuyuki, who is also an LDP member of the House of Representatives and former Justice Minister. It is worth pointing out that Anri’s decision to run for the Diet was reportedly in accordance with the wishes of Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide. Katsuyuki, who once served as an assistant to the prime minister, is one of the closest aides to Abe. Anri received strong backing from the PM’s Office in the election campaign. Before the election, the LDP headquarters provided Anri’s LDP branch with an exceptionally large amount of campaign funding, 150 million yen, much higher than the amount an average LDP branch would receive. The responsibility of the LDP as well as Abe himself is called into question.

PM Abe, however, has been behaving as if he had nothing to do with the matter. He refused to comment on the scandal even after the local offices of the Kawais in Hiroshima were searched by prosecutors in January. On March 3, their rooms in the Dietmembers’ office building were raided and the above-mentioned three persons were arrested. In response, Abe just said that each politician should fulfill their own responsibility to respond to allegations of misconduct.

Katsuyuki is the second Cabinet minister who stepped down after the September 2019 Cabinet reshuffle following Economy Minister Sugawara Isshu who resigned over an alleged election law violation. After that, Akimoto Tsukasa, former minister in charge of casino resort promotion, was arrested for accepting bribes. PM Abe himself is under scrutiny over his alleged use of the government-hosted cherry blossom-viewing party to further his own interests. It is becoming ever more evident that the Abe government totally lacks morals and ethics and is heavily tainted with money politics.

Past related article:
> Justice minister resigns over his wife's possible violation of election law [November 1, 2019]
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved