EX-EGG GROUP EXEC ADMITS PAYING OFF EX-JAPAN FARM MINISTER
A former representative of a major egg producing group in western Japan has told those around him that he gave several million yen in cash to a former minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, according to sources connected to the case, Mainichi Shimbun reported.
The ex-representative of Akita Foods Co. group, which is based in Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture, has reportedly admitted to most of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office special investigation squad's accusations involving money provided to Takamori Yoshikawa, 70, a member of the House of Representatives from the Hokkaido No. 2 constituency and ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) member.
The investigation squad is now interviewing people related to the case and others, and it appears that they are proceeding with understanding the events and circumstances behind the matter. The former representative is a special adviser for the Japan Poultry Association, and has previously petitioned the national government and Diet members repeatedly regarding the "poultry egg producer management stability measures project" to fill the gap when trading prices of eggs fall from the base price, and on requirements concerning animal welfare to allow farm animals to be raised in stress-free settings.
It appears that the former representative was also lobbying Yoshikawa, and it is possible that the money was provided with the intention of asking him to promote measures to benefit the poultry egg industry. According to an individual connected to the case, prosecutors in July searched locations including the company and the home of accounting personnel in connection with a large-scale vote-buying scandal involving former Minister of Justice and current House of Representatives member Katsuyuki Kawai, 57, and his wife, House of Councillors member Anri Kawai, 47, who are accused of breaking the Public Offices Election Act during the 2019 upper house election. During those searches, a number of documents indicating that the former Akita Foods representative had given money to several Diet members including Yoshikawa were reportedly found.