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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 June 17 - 23  > 2 sitting Dietmembers arrested for vote buying
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2020 June 17 - 23 TOP3 [POLITICS]

2 sitting Dietmembers arrested for vote buying

June 19, 2020

Former Justice Minister Kawai Katsuyuki and his wife Anri, both sitting Dietmembers who have recently left the Liberal Democratic Party, were arrested on June 18 on the charge of vote buying during last year's election.

In relation to the Upper House election in July of 2019 when Anri was first elected, they allegedly conspired to bribe five people with 1.7 million yen in total in order to round up votes for her while Katsuyuki gave 91 people a total of 24 million yen to the same effect.

Katsuyuki is said to be a close aide to Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, and Anri ran for the Upper House election from the Hiroshima constituency on the LDP ticket with the strong backing of LDP headquarters in Tokyo. It already came to light that the LDP headquarters, before the election campaign started, gave as much as 150 million yen to local LDP chapters headed by the couple.

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira at a press conference held in the Diet building on the same day said, "They should immediately resign as Dietmembers."

Koike also said, "PM Abe should be held responsible for having appointed such a figure as Justice Minister. Abe should also be responsible as LDP president for having provided the campaign cash of 150 million yen to Anri because her camp reportedly used that fund to buy votes in last year's election."

Koike pointed out that the 150 million yen in question is extravagantly enormous compared to the 15 million yen given to the other LDP candidate in the same constituency, and said, "Why is it that LDP headquarters offered so much support to one specific candidate? It is necessary to reveal the whole picture behind the allegation."

He added, "The JCP in cooperation with other opposition parties will demand that deliberations be held in both Houses' Budget Committee meetings with the attendance of PM Abe in order to uncover the truth behind this scandal."

Past related article:
> Abe should take responsible attitude toward election scandal involving ex-Justice Minister [March 6, 2020]
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