Ex-farm minister indicted on bribery charge
NHK -- Jan 16
Tokyo prosecutors on Friday indicted former agriculture minister Yoshikawa Takamori on a charge of receiving bribes from a major egg producer while in office.

Prosecutors say Yoshikawa received a total of 5 million yen, or about 48,000 dollars, on three occasions between November 2018 and August 2019.

A former head of Hiroshima-based Akita Foods, Akita Yoshiki, has been charged with paying the bribe.

Akita reportedly asked that the agriculture ministry oppose draft standards for poultry breeding drawn up by an international organization, and that Yoshikawa help the poultry industry get support from a government-owned financial institution.

Neither Yoshikawa nor Akita has been detained. Prosecutors apparently assumed that Yoshikawa does not pose a flight risk, because the 70-year-old former lawmaker has been hospitalized for heart surgery.

Sources say Yoshikawa has admitted to receiving the cash, but told prosecutors that he thought the money was aimed at congratulating him for his Cabinet appointment or supporting his political activities.

The former head of Akita Foods has also been charged over the company's purchase of tickets for fundraising parties held by Yoshikawa's political organization.

The 87-year-old former head is suspected of falsely using the names of employees to buy the tickets, in violation of the political funds control law.

- NHK

吉川元農水大臣が鶏卵業大手「アキタフーズ」の元代表から現金500万円を受けとったとして在宅起訴されたことを受け、菅総理大臣は「大変、残念だ」と述べました。  菅総理大臣:「この度、吉川元農水大臣の在宅起訴については大変に残念であります」  そのうえで、4月の衆議院の補欠選挙で自民党が候補者の擁立を断念した理由については「有権者の信頼回復を優先しようとした」と強調しました。  一方、農林水産省は第三者による検証委員会を近く設置することを決めました。  吉川元農水大臣の在任期間中を対象に養鶏、鶏卵行政の公正性について検証する方針です。  農水省は「委員の人選が固まり次第、速やかに調査を開始し、結果を公表したい」としています。 - ANNnewsCH

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