Kamei got Tokushukai millions

Kyodo

Shizuka Kamei, a senior Lower House lawmaker and former financial services minister, received ¥20 million in 2008 from the scandal-hit Tokushukai hospital group, according to sources.

A Tokushukai group source said the 77-year-old former leader of the now-defunct Kokumin Shinto (People’s New Party) might have received the money from a former secretary-general of the group who has recently been arrested for alleged embezzlement, in exchange for fundraising event tickets.

Kamei did not include the income in a legally binding political fund report and returned all the money to the group last year, said a source in his office.

By law, ¥1.5 million is the maximum allowable amount that can be raised from a single person or organization through a fundraising event.

The source in Kamei’s office said the office kept the money on hand waiting for the Tokushukai group to provide a full list of ticket buyers to be specified in the fund report. When the group later told the office the list could not be submitted, the money was returned, the source said.

The Tokushukai group is at the center of a vote-buying probe and is known to have provided ¥50 million to Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose for unspecified purposes.