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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 July 8 - 14  > PM Abe should explain to general public about provision of huge amount of funds to Kawai Katsuyuki and Anri
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2020 July 8 - 14 [POLITICS]

PM Abe should explain to general public about provision of huge amount of funds to Kawai Katsuyuki and Anri

July 9, 2020

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

Former Justice Minister and sitting member of the House of Representatives Kawai Katsuyuki and his wife, Anri, a member of the House of Councilors, both left the Liberal Democratic Party, were indicted by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office for large-scale vote-buying in the July 2019 House of Councilors election in the Hiroshima constituency. The important point is where this huge amount of funds for use in bribery came from. In relation to the Upper House election, 150 million yen was provided by the LDP headquarters to the Kawais and it is strongly suspected that this money was used to buy votes.

The Kawais were arrested for handing to 94 people, including several municipal heads in Hiroshima, 50,000 yen to two million yen in cash each, totaling around 25.7 million yen. Follow-up investigations gave rise to allegations that the couple distributed another three million yen as bribes. At the time of the indictment, the total amount of money which was allegedly used to buy votes increased to 29 million yen.

The core of this scandal is the provision of the massive amount of funds totaling 150 million yen by the LDP headquarters to the Kawais. Of the money, 80% or 120 million yen came from the government subsidy for political parties using taxpayers’ money. Although the LDP headquarters is accountable to the general public for its use of the public funding, it refuses to disclose this information. It is impossible to provide as much as 150 million yen to the Kawais, which is ten times larger than the amount given to other LDP candidates, without any awareness of Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, who is also the president of the LDP. If this money is intended to be used for vote-buying, PM Abe and other LDP top officials who decided to offer the funds can be charged with an election law violation by providing money to others for the purpose of vote-buying. It is totally unacceptable to use the taxpayers’ money granted through the government subsidy scheme for such a criminal act.

The vote-buying scandal of the Kawais symbolizes the extent of corruption in politics and the extent of moral hazard under the Abe government. Not only the Kawais’ case but also other scandals involving the “Moritomo” and “Kake” school corporations and the government-hosted cherry blossom-viewing party should be thoroughly investigated in the Diet.

Past related articles:
> 2 sitting Dietmembers arrested for vote buying [June 19, 2020]
> Abe should take responsible attitude toward election scandal involving ex-Justice Minister [March 6, 2020]
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