Kawais deny vote buying charges in trial opening
NHK -- Aug 26
Former Justice Minister Kawai Katsuyuki and his lawmaker wife, Kawai Anri, denied charges of vote buying in the opening of their trial at Tokyo District Court on Tuesday.

Prosecutors alleged that Kawai Katsuyuki distributed about 270,000 dollars in cash to 100 local politicians and senior members of support groups to secure votes for his wife. She won a seat in the Upper House election in July last year.

Kawai Anri allegedly distributed about 16,000 dollars of the funds to five local assembly members among the 100 recipients.

In the opening hearing, Kawai Katsuyuki first apologized to the people who had supported his political career and bowed deeply. He said he did not hand out the money to secure votes for his wife or to encourage the recipients to campaign for her.

Kawai Anri also apologized to voters and those who supported her campaign. She said she had never colluded with her husband and did not give cash to the five people in return for their campaign activities to get her elected.

She said she had never campaigned before registering her candidacy. She said that before she officially became a candidate, she had only worked to expand the Liberal Democratic Party's force and prepared for her campaign.

Prosecutors said in their opening statement that Kawai Katsuyuki gave money even to estranged people outside his electoral constituency, calling it gifts to round up votes. They also said he arranged for his wife to visit some of them.

The prosecutors read out the names of the 100 people who allegedly received the cash, listing when, where and how the money transactions took place.

News source: NHK
Oct 22
Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide says he has agreed with the leaders of Vietnam and Indonesia to work together to build a peaceful and prosperous future in the Indo-Pacific region. (NHK)
Oct 21
Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide and President Joko Widodo have called for continued cooperation on matters including health, security and the economy. (NHK)
Oct 20
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Monday affirmed defense and economic cooperation between their countries, as China's growing influence continues to make its neighbors jittery. (Kyodo)
Oct 19
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga arrived on Sunday in Vietnam for the first stop in his Southeast Asian tour, which also marks a diplomatic restart of sorts for Hanoi as it courts international investors. (Nikkei)
Oct 18
Japan's Cabinet and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party held a joint funeral service for former Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro, who died last November at the age of 101. (NHK)
Oct 18
The ruling coalition and an opposition party are considering introducing a bill to recognize that the woman who gives birth to a child as the mother in cases where she uses a third person’s egg, informed sources said Friday. (Japan Times)
Oct 18
The new Japanese Prime Minister sent an offering to the Yasukuni shrine for the autumn festival, but did not attend in person. (ARIRANG NEWS)
Oct 17
Since taking office a month ago, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has held a marathon of teleconferences with world leaders and met face-to-face with high-ranking foreign government officials, eager to shake off criticism that he is a diplomatic novice and doubts over whether he can continue the legacy of his predecessor, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (Japan Times)
Oct 17
The Japanese government on Friday created an official YouTube channel to provide information about North Korea's abductions of Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s, with a video featuring Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga vowing to bring them back home promptly. (Kyodo)
Oct 15
Japan will significantly ramp up a program encouraging businesses to build production sites in Southeast Asia to diversify supply chains that are too dependent on China. (Nikkei)
Oct 15
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government plans to launch a program that will help elderly people to receive necessary care if their close family members test positive for the coronavirus. (NHK)
Oct 15
Japan's newest submarine was unveiled Wednesday at a shipyard in Kobe, as part of efforts to boost the country's maritime security amid China's growing assertiveness in the region. (Japan Today)
Oct 15
Yoshihide Suga, the man most likely to succeed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced that he remains steadfast in his commitment to issue a license the national inaugural triad of integrated casino resorts. (newsonjapan.com)
Oct 14
Japan is considering an additional economic stimulus package focusing on boosting consumption dampened by the novel coronavirus pandemic, government sources said Tuesday. (Kyodo)
Oct 13
Campaigning began Monday for a Nov 1 referendum on whether Osaka should become a metropolis akin to Tokyo in 2025. (NHK)
Oct 10
Japan's Justice Ministry is considering doing away with a requirement that people registering marriages or divorces must stamp documents with "hanko," or personal seals. (NHK)
Oct 10
Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide has explained more about the government's decision last week to reject six candidates for the Science Council. (NHK)
Oct 09
Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Thursday that Japan will contribute more than $130 million to an international framework to ensure that developing countries have fair access to coronavirus vaccines. (Kyodo)
Oct 07
A local politician of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party has come under fire for claiming last month that his north Tokyo ward would "cease to exist" if the rights of sexual minorities are protected by law. (Japan Times)
Oct 07
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga spoke with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo here Tuesday in the new Japanese leader's first cabinet-level meeting with a foreign official since taking office last month. (Nikkei)