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Ex-Ozawa aide convicted over fund scandal to quit as Diet member

Kyodo

Tomohiro Ishikawa, a former aide to veteran politician Ichiro Ozawa, said Thursday he will resign as a Lower House member but will not drop his appeal against a court conviction that he falsified political funds reports of Ozawa’s fund management body.

Ishikawa, who belongs to New Party Daichi, which is headed by Muneo Suzuki, a convicted bribe-taker who remains barred from running for the Diet, told supporters in Obihiro in Hokkaido that he will submit his resignation Friday to Bunmei Ibuki, speaker of the lower chamber.

In the Lower House election in December, Ishikawa won a seat in the proportional representation block. Suzuki has told Ishikawa to accept the guilty verdict, step down as a lawmaker and return to politics after completing his sentence.

Suzuki’s daughter, Takako, 27, is in line to fill the seat to be vacated by Ishikawa.

In March, the Tokyo High Court upheld a lower court ruling that found Ishikawa, 39, and two other former aides to Ozawa, who now leads People’s Life Party, guilty of submitting falsified political funds reports. Ozawa was acquitted over the matter last November.