Legislator: a member of the prefectural assembly asked for money

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A Japanese lower house lawmaker has revealed that a veteran member of the prefectural assembly asked him for money ahead of the October general election.

Izumida Hirohiko of the Liberal Democratic Party posted on Twitter Monday that he was asked for 20-30 million yen, or about 170,000 to 260,000 dollars, before the election, in which he won a proportional seat.

Izumida revealed at a Diet press conference on Wednesday that the sum was requested by Hoshino Isao, who formerly headed the PLD chapter in Niigata Prefecture, where Izumida served as governor for 3 terms.

Izumida said during his visit to Hoshino’s home on September 4 that the veteran assembly member suggested he would lose the election if he did not pay the money.
Izumida said he refused because paying voters is illegal, as evidenced by a recent vote-buying scandal in Hiroshima.

The lawmaker has said that what Hoshino has done cannot be ignored because it is undermining the foundations of democracy.

He added that he would ask the LDP in writing to deport Hoshino for seeking money that would not be recorded in the political finance reports.

Izumida also said he plans to post a recording of his conversation with Hoshino, as such action cannot be tolerated.

Hoshino told NHK he never asked Izumida for money and described the lawmaker’s accusations as completely fabricated.

He said he was considering his response, including legal action against Izumida.


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