Japanese prosecutors are mulling over filing criminal charges against Tokyo’s former governor. Naoki Inose was dragged into a scandal as news broke about the 50 million yen (approx. US$490,000) he received from the embattled Tokushukai hospital group.
Members of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office are thinking of charging the 67-year old ex-governor with violation of the public offices election law for his failure to include the money he received in his submitted report to the electoral management committee of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Those proven guilty of violating the law may get a punishment of up to three years imprisonment, or a fine of up to 500,000 yen ($4,890). Investigations by the prosecutors showed that Inose met with Tokushukai founder Torao Tokuda on Nov 6, 2012 and received 50 million yen in cash two weeks later from Tokuda’s son, Takeshi, who was serving as a member of the House of Representatives at that time. When prosecutors launched an inquiry on the matter, Inose returned the money to Tokuda’s wife, Hideko on Sept 25, 2013.
Inose previously maintained that the money was loaned on a personal capacity, but Torao Tokuda countered his claim, saying that it was given to help fund his gubernatorial campaign. Since Tokuda’s admission, Inose has changed his tune and admitted to have received the money as funds. The money he received came into light as prosecutors looked into Takeshi Tokuda’s election violation case, which showed Takeshi to have involved staff from the hospital group with his election campaign. Various citizens groups have expressed concern over the money Inose received and filed a complaint to the prosecutors on suspicion of violating the public offices election law. Inose is now the shortest serving governor of Tokyo after he resigned in December 2013 in the middle of accusations.
[via Jiji Press]