• Crime & Courts

Japan Lawmaker Ikeda Released on Bail

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Yoshitaka Ikeda

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—Tokyo District Court on Monday approved the release of lawmaker Yoshitaka Ikeda on bail over a slush funds scandal at the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Ikeda, 57, a member of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of parliament, was released after posting bail of ¥15 million. His defense applied for bail Wednesday.

The prosecution filed an appeal against the court’s approval to release him. But the appeal was rejected.

Accused of violating the political funds control law, Ikeda was removed from the LDP over kickbacks from the LDP’s largest faction, once led by the late former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

According to the indictment, Ikeda colluded with secretary Kazuhiro Kakinuma, 45, to leave some ¥48 million in kickbacks from the faction unrecorded in the political funds reports of his fund management organization from 2018 to 2022.

The Abe faction set sales quotas for fundraising party tickets for member lawmakers based on the number of times they had been elected to parliament and their positions, according to sources. Revenues exceeding the quotas were allegedly kicked back to the lawmakers.