Ex-Justice Minister Of Japan Jailed 3 Years For Vote-Buying

Former Japanese Justice Minister, Katsuyuku Kawai

June 18, (THEWILL)- A former Japanese Justice Minister, Katsuyuku Kawai, was on Friday, sentenced to a three-year jail term for vote-buying in an attempt to get his wife elected to a national office.

He was fined 1.3 million yen ($11,800) in addition to the jail term.

Kawai, 58, was found guilty of charges that he distributed 29 million yen ($260,000) to about 100 people in 2019, to help secure an Upper House seat for his wife Anri, national broadcaster, NHK said.

Katsuyuki, a close confidant of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, had reversed his earlier claims of innocence and broadly conceded the allegations against him.

Anri, who won her seat in the July 2019 election, has already been found guilty over her role in the scheme and received a suspended sentence of 16 months earlier this year.

Katsuyuki’s sentence is not suspended, meaning he faces jail time. But the Yomiuri Shimbun daily reported that he appealed.

He was named Justice Minister by Abe in 2019 but left the office after only a few weeks as the scandal emerged.

The headquarters of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party reportedly provided 150 million yen to Anri’s election campaign, an unusually large sum to boost campaign efforts. Former Japan Justice Minister, Katsuyuki Kawai Jailed For Vote-Buying.