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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 August 26 - September 1  > JCP Koike: Dietmembers Kawai Katsuyuki and Anri should take responsibility for vote-buying scandal and resign
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2020 August 26 - September 1 [POLITICS]

JCP Koike: Dietmembers Kawai Katsuyuki and Anri should take responsibility for vote-buying scandal and resign

August 26, 2020
Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira on August 25 commented on a vote-buying case involving former Justice Minister Kawai Katsuyuki and his wife, Anri, as the first court hearing of the case was held earlier on the day. Koike said that the couple should not keep holding their positions as Dietmembers any longer.

The case revolves around Anri’s election campaign in the House of Councilors election in July 2019 in which she was elected for the first time from the Hiroshima electoral district on the Liberal Democratic Party ticket. Prosecutors argue that over a period of several months before and after the election, the Kawais violated the Public Offices Election Law by providing 29 million yen to 100 local influential individuals, such as municipal mayors and local assembly members, with the aim of soliciting more votes. The couple left the LDP after the scandal surfaced, but still keep their seats in the Diet.

Koike at the press conference in the Diet building criticized the couple’s defense in the court case as unreasonable. The Kawais, while admitting having handed out cash to LDP local assembly members, insist that the money was not intended to buy votes in the Upper House election, but to help strengthen LDP local bodies. Stressing that everyone can see that the money was used as a bribe, Koike stated that both of the Dietmembers should step down.

Koike also referred to the responsibility of Prime Minister and LDP President Abe Shinzo as well as the party headquarters. He pointed out that Anri’s campaign received extraordinary backing from LDP headquarters, including a team of Abe’s secretaries dispatched to Hiroshima and a remittance of as much as 150 million yen. He said, “The LDP headquarters should find out and disclose how the 150 million yen was used. Abe should fulfil his accountability as well as political responsibility for the scandal.”

Past related articles:
> 2 sitting Dietmembers arrested for vote buying [June 19, 2020]
> Justice minister resigns over his wife's possible violation of election law [November 1, 2019]
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