Tokushima ex-governor faces prison

Prosecutors demanded a three-year prison term and an 8 million yen fine Tuesday for former Tokushima Gov. Toshio Endo, who is standing trial on bribery charges.

Endo, 59, allegedly received 8 million yen in bribes in 1997 and in 2000 from Tokyo consultant Mitsuro Ozaki, 57, and Wahei Nishimura, 47, former senior managing director of a construction company in Tokushima Prefecture, in connection with public works projects in the prefecture.

The ruling is scheduled to be handed down Nov. 15.

At a Tokyo District Court hearing in July, Endo pleaded guilty, saying, “I would like to extend my most sincere apologies for betraying the trust of the people in the prefecture.”

During closing arguments Tuesday, prosecutors said Endo had “sold out his authority to order public works as he wanted to gain funds for his election.”

Prosecutors also sought an 18-month prison term for Nishimura, who pleaded guilty.

Endo resigned as governor of Tokushima on March 15, following his March 4 arrest.

Just before his arrest, Endo denied the bribery allegations before the prefectural assembly.

Endo’s case was one of a series of bribery scandals involving Ozaki — a former secretary to senior Diet member Michihiko Kano — and two city mayors in Ibaraki Prefecture.