Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose says he borrowed 50 million yen (approx. US$494,000) from the Tokushukai hospital group, which is at the center of an election fraud case involving lawmaker Takeshi Tokuda, his father and his campaigners. Inose insists he returned the money once prosecutors started investigating the group this September.
Inose admits he asked for a loan before the gubernatorial elections in December 2012, which afterwards saw him win the race. He said he borrowed it in his personal capacity and when he learned that the hospital group is being investigated, he asked his secretary to return it to the wife of Torao Tokuda, the father of Takeshi and former chief of Tokushukai. An official from the hospital group has not yet confirmed if the 50 million yen was indeed returned. But Inose may be facing charges as he did not declare this amount when he filed the report on his election campaign last December. The report indicates 30 million yen ($297,000) of his own funds and 500,000 yen ($5,000) from his support group. If found to have filed a false report with the electoral management committee, he can be imprisoned up to three years and fined up to 500,000 yen for violating the public offices election law.
Six people linked to Tokuda, including his two sisters, were arrested last November 12 on suspicion of giving out bonus rewards to 563 campaigners who worked on his general election campaign. The “volunteers” were also Tokushukai employees and they received a combined amount of 147.5 million yen ($1.45 million) as a reward, which violates the public offices election law. Torao, suffering from an incurable disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, was not arrested while Tokuda resigned from the House because of the controversy. No word yet on whether the prosecutors intend to bring charges against Inose, who became governor of Tokyo in December after elections were called when his predecessor Shintaro Ishihara, resigned.
[ via The Mainichi ]
Comments Off on JDP Startup Corner: Pros & Cons of Working with a Partner in Japan