Japanese Lawmaker Convicted Of Vote-Buying Resigns - Reports

TOKYO (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 03rd February, 2021) Japanese lawmaker Kawai Anri has submitted her resignation after being convicted by the court of electoral law violations in late January, the NHK broadcaster reported on Wednesday.

In June, Anri and her husband, ex-justice minister Kawai Katsuyuki, were arrested for handing out cash to secure her election to parliament. The investigation launched in the fall of 2019, which prompted Katsuyuki to leave his post, revealed that the couple had distributed cash to members of local assemblies in the Hiroshima Prefecture in exchange for securing votes for Anri, who had ran in the upper house election in July 2019.

As a result of the election, Anri won a seat in the upper house. Prosecutors believe that Katsuyuki distributed over $220,000 of campaign funds in cash handouts, while his wife handed out about $14,000 to local politicians.

Earlier in January, Anri was sentenced to a year and four months in prison by the Tokyo District Court, and suspended for five years. The day before her arrest, she left the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, but retained the post of a deputy. Throughout her trial, the lawmaker claimed innocence.