Tsujimoto leaves SDP ahead of run for Upper House

Kyodo

Kiyomi Tsujimoto, a former House of Representatives member convicted of defrauding the government out of secretaries’ salaries, left the Social Democratic Party on Saturday, the SDP’s Osaka chapter announced.

Tsujimoto is expected to run in the House of Councilors election in July as an independent. But the SDP will support her in such activities as putting up her campaign posters, according to Yasuo Sumida, representative of the chapter and a member of the Osaka Prefectural Assembly.

Tsujimoto was sentenced in February by the Tokyo District Court to two years in prison, suspended for five years. Despite her criminal conviction, Tsujimoto enjoys strong support in Osaka Prefecture. She is expected to officially announce her candidacy Monday.