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POLITICS

Former Okinawa affairs minister suspected of receiving bribes

  • November 17, 2017
  • , Akahata , p. 1
  • JMH Translation

A serious allegation has surfaced against Liberal Democratic Party’s Upper House member Yosuke Tsuruho (elected from Wakayama Prefecture,) who served as the state minister for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs until August this year, over the construction of the new U.S. military base in Henoko, Okinawa, a project that the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pushed forward without the consent of the people. Tsuruho met seven times at his office during his tenure with a business operator seeking to participate in the construction work. The business operator provided more than 10 million yen to the chairman of Tsuruho’s support group, who mediated a meeting with the lawmaker. Tsuruho himself also received electoral support [from the operator] and was wined and dined [by the operator] in return for favors, such as making inquiries to the Ministry of Defense (MOD). (A full report appears in the Nov. 19 issue of Akahata’s Sunday edition.)

 

A Kagoshima-prefecture-based quarry operator provided testimony to the editorial office of Akahata’s Sunday edition. The operator met with a person who had a business card that says, “Chairman of Kansai Sennen-kai [millennium society], the support group of Upper House member Yosuke Tsuruho” around November 2015. The chairman told the operator, “It costs 100,000 yen for every action” and “A meeting with Tsuruho costs money.” The operator said, “I’ve paid over 10 million yen in fees for consulting and arranging meetings. I’ve also loaned a luxury car free of charge. I couldn’t reject the requests because I had never socialized with a politician before.”

 

Tsuruho’s office did not respond to a request from the editorial office of Akahata’s Sunday edition for comment. (Abridged)

 

 

 

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