YAMAGUCHI, Japan – Yamaguchi Deputy Gov. Kazuhiko Komatsu was fined 300,000 yen ($2,600) on Friday for recruiting supporters for Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi over the October general election in violation of the election law.
Komatsu paid the fine after prosecutors in the western prefecture issued a summary indictment on Friday, a day after police referred the case to prosecutors. He told reporters he had handed in his resignation, which was later accepted by the government.
According to the indictment, Komatsu solicited prefectural government officials to join the political support group of Hayashi, who became Japan’s foreign minister after winning in the House of Representatives election.
Japan’s Public Offices Election Law prohibits public servants from making use of their positions in election campaigns.
A member of a faction led by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Hayashi was engaged in a fierce competition against former Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura to gain the official endorsement of their ruling Liberal Democratic Party in the lower house election from the Yamaguchi No. 3 constituency.