Local Politician Pleads Not Guilty over Ex-Minister Bribery Case

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Hiroshima District Court

HIROSHIMA (Jiji Press) — A former member of the Hiroshima city assembly, in the first hearing of his trial at Hiroshima District Court on Thursday, pleaded not guilty to receiving bribes in a high-profile vote-buying case involving former Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai.

According to the indictment, Tsuneyasu Kido, 67, violated the public offices election law by receiving ¥300,000 in cash from Kawai in April 2019 despite knowing that the money was meant as remuneration for helping Kawai’s wife, Anri, get elected to the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, in the poll in July the same year.

Kido told the court in the city of Hiroshima that he was not aware that the cash was a reward for vote-buying.

The defense argued that a prosecutor induced Kido to make statements favorable for the prosecution in an interrogation for the bribery case. The investigation was illegal, the defense said, demanding that the prosecution be dismissed.