A day after his press conference where he admitted borrowing ¥50 million (approx. US$494,000) from the scandal-hit Tokushukai hospital group, a source says there is evidence that Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose asked for a ¥100 million ($982,000) donation from the former head of the group, Torao Tokuda, who is the father of House of Representatives politician Takeshi Tokuda. Inose denies the allegation, saying he did not say anything about a certain amount of money.
The source says they have a written record of the telephone conversation between the father and son, where the younger says Inose asked for ¥100 million to use for his run for the gubernatorial seat last December. Takeshi quoted Inose as saying, “I want ¥100 million. I will return (it) if there is some left,” when talking to his father who at that time was in a hospital undergoing treatment for an incurable disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The elder Tokuda agreed to giving an amount of ¥50 million, and they then discussed whether the money should be handed over to Inose at a building for Diet members.
The outspoken Tokyo governor might be facing charges as he did not declare the ¥50 million in donations when he filed the report on his election campaign last December. During his press conference on Friday, he said that money was a personal “loan” and not part of his campaign donations. He said he asked his secretary to return the money to the wife of Torao Tokuda at the same time that the investigation into the hospital became public knowledge. Six people linked to Tokuda and the Tokushukai group are facing charges of electoral fraud on suspicion of giving out bonus rewards to 563 campaigners who worked on Takeshi’s general election campaign as it is in violation of the public offices election law. He has since then resigned from the House of Representatives as the police are continuing the investigation.
[ via Kyodo News ]
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