Japanese Minister Terada Suspected of Election Law Violation

Jiji Press
Minoru Terada, Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications, speaking at the Diet on Wednesday.

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—Japanese internal affairs minister Minoru Terada is suspected of having violated the public offices election law in last year’s election for the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of parliament, a weekly magazine reported Wednesday.

Terada is believed to have reported that he paid for his own campaign expenses despite a group of his supporters having actually paid them, according to the online edition of the Shukan Bunshun magazine.

He denied violating the law when appearing before parliament Wednesday, saying that there were no issues with how he handled campaign expenses.

The magazine report said that Terada listed donations of his own funds in the income column of his campaign expense report for the Lower House election, while saying in the expense column that he paid for lunch and other expenses.

Check of receipts and bank transfer details, however, showed that some payments were made by the minister’s supporters’ group, according to the magazine report.

At a Wednesday meeting of a committee of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of parliament, Terada said that some of his own money had been deposited with the supporters’ group.

“The supporters’ group paid as an intermediary,” he said, stressing that the action was appropriate. “There are no provisions in the public offices election law that prohibit such conduct.”

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said at a press conference that any matter involving politicians needs to be explained appropriately by themselves.