Prosecutors are now preparing a formal investigation of former Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose on charges of violating the public office election law. Inose has been in hot water since stepping down last year after news of the 50 million yen (approx. US$480,000) loan from the embattled hospital group Tokushukai came into light.
The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office intends to start the investigation of 67-year old Inose after accepting a formal complaint filed by members of a civic group, who said that the money in question was not included in the former governor’s fund report for his Tokyo gubernatorial election campaign, which is a violation of the public office election law. Further stating that the money may have been a bribe for Inose’s favorable treatment of Tokushukai, which was looking at acquiring a hospital operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co., as a governor has jurisdiction in approving new hospitals.
The money was received in November 2012, a month before the elections, from Takeshi Tokuda, a member of the House of Representatives and son of Tokushukai founder Torao Tokuda. Tokushukai is also involved in another election violation case for vote-buying, where some of the members of the family have already been indicted, including Takeshi Tokuda’s mother. Inose, who won the gubernatorial seat in December, maintains that the 50 million yen was a personal loan, hence not included in his election fund report.