Former Japanese Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai, lawmaker wife indicted for suspected vote-buying

TOKYO (REUTERS) – Former Japanese Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai and his lawmaker wife Anri were indicted on Wednesday (July 8) on suspicion of vote-buying, following the couple’s arrest last month, Tokyo prosecutors said.

Their arrest and indictment are a blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as the premier struggles with falling public support.

Katsuyuki Kawai had close ties to Mr Abe and previously served as his foreign policy adviser.

Tokyo prosecutors said in a statement that the couple had paid 1.7 million yen (S$22,000) to five people last year to help Anri Kawai get an upper house seat, while separately Katsuyuki Kawai paid a total 27.31 million yen to 103 people to help her get elected.

At the time of their arrests, Katsuyuki Kawai denied any wrongdoing while Anri Kawai declined comment on the advice of her lawyer.

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