Prosecutors from the Tokyo District Prosecutors Office have begun questioning ex-Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose on the alleged 50 million yen he received from a large hospital chain currently under investigation for electoral fraud. Inose stepped down from his post last December as information on the loan or alleged bribe he received from embattled Tokushukai group surfaced.
A complaint from a civic group prompted the prosecutors to investigate Inose on suspicions of public office election laws violation. While he maintained that the money was borrowed from Torao Tokuda, founder of the Tokushukai group and father of lawmaker Takeshi Tokuda, hence, no need to report it as election funds, there were several inconsistencies in his statements. Inose said that his meeting with the founder occurred prior to his winning the elections. He also said that he did not spend any of it as his late wife kept it in a safety-deposit box. However, it was later discovered that the 67-year old former governor gave 5 million yen to ultra-nationalist group leader, Mistuhiro Kimuro, who arranged the meeting between Inose and Tokuda.
Inose, has since returned the 50 million yen to Hideko, wife of the senior Tokuda after learning that Tokushukai was being investigated and searched for evidence on electoral fraud during the camapaign of the younger Tokuda. His 75-year old father and other family members have been found guilty for vote-buying in the 2012 elections.
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