Ex-Japan justice minister given 3-yr jail term over vote buying

Former Japanese Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai enters the Tokyo District Court on March 23, 2021. (Pool photo)


TOKYO (Kyodo) — Former Japanese Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai was sentenced Friday to three years in prison and a fine of 1.3 million yen ($12,000) for vote buying aimed at securing a seat for his wife in a 2019 upper house election.

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Prosecutors had sought a four-year prison term and the forfeit of 1.5 million yen during the 58-year-old former House of Representatives lawmaker’s trial at the Tokyo District Court.

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According to the indictment, Kawai handed out a total of about 29 million yen to 100 local politicians and supporters in return for securing votes for his wife in the House of Councillors election in July 2019.

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