Japanese Lawmaker Arrested for Allegedly Compiling List of Cash Offerings for Mayoral Election in Tokyo Ward

Former senior vice justice minister Mito Kakizawa has found himself in hot water after being arrested on suspicion of violating the Public Offices Election Law. Reports have emerged that one of Kakizawa’s secretaries compiled a list of ward councilors who were allegedly offered cash in exchange for their support and campaign efforts. This information was then reportedly reported back to Kakizawa. The Tokyo Public Prosecutors Office’s special investigation squad is said to believe that the money was used to buy votes in the mayoral election for Koto Ward, Tokyo, due to the timing of the cash provisions and the circumstances of the election campaign.

The alleged vote-buying process is under intense scrutiny by the prosecutors, who are believed to consider the list of councilors as crucial evidence. This has fueled speculation that Kakizawa was overseeing the entire vote-buying operation. Along with Kakizawa, his four secretaries were also arrested on suspicion of violating the Public Offices Election Law. The accusations state that Kakizawa provided a total of ¥1 million to five ward councilors and others in exchange for their campaigning efforts to elect former ward mayor Yayoi Kimura.

The alleged vote-buying scheme came to light in late February, when Kakizawa instructed his secretaries to provide ¥200,000 each to at least 10 ward councilors and others, shortly after Kimura announced her mayoral run. Five individuals reportedly accepted the money, while the others refused to meet or receive any cash. Kakizawa’s policy secretary, Masaki Ito, 51, who has also been arrested, is suspected to have compiled the list of councilors based on information from the other secretaries.

Another allegation against Kakizawa is that he provided approximately ¥800,000 to a former ward councilor who served as a campaign executive for Kimura. Kakizawa claims that the money was not for vote-buying, but rather for consulting work. However, no contract document has surfaced to support Kakizawa’s explanation, and the special investigation squad believes that the work commensurate with the advisory fee was not carried out.

Kakizawa and his four secretaries have all denied the charges brought against them. As the case continues to unfold, it has prompted outrage and drawn attention to the complexities and controversies within the realm of political elections. The allegations and subsequent arrests have sent shockwaves through the political landscape and raised serious questions about the integrity of democratic processes and the responsibilities of elected officials.

The scandal involving Mito Kakizawa and his associates serves as a sobering reminder of the importance of upholding ethical standards and adhering to the laws governing elections. The repercussions of these alleged violations are reverberating not only within political circles but also among the general public, who are demanding transparency, accountability, and fairness in the electoral process. As the investigation progresses, the spotlight remains firmly fixed on Kakizawa and his entourage, as they face the legal consequences and the public’s scrutiny.

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