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Rightist: I got Inose loan

Kyodo

The leader of a rightist group said Saturday that Naoki Inose gave him ¥5 million shortly after being elected Tokyo governor in December 2012 for arranging a meeting he had with the founder of the nation’s top hospital group, whose dubious ¥50 million loan prompted Inose to resign last month.

Inose, 67, may have used part of the ¥50 million from hospital chain Tokushukai to supply the ¥5 million paid to Mitsuhiro Kimura, leader of the right-wing political group Issuikai.

Such a transaction would contradict Inose’s claim that the ¥50 million was “totally untouched” after his late wife put the money in a safe-deposit box until it was returned to Tokushukai.

Kimura, who arranged the meeting between Inose and Tokushukai founder Torao Tokuda, told Kyodo News he asked Inose’s wife to lend him ¥5 million and later received the money without a loan document.

Kimura said he used about half of the money to cover the operating costs of the rightist group.

Inose’s wife died last July.

Last September, when a secretary of Inose was preparing to return the ¥50 million to Tokushukai, the secretary noticed that ¥5 million was missing.

Kimura told the secretary at the time that he had borrowed ¥5 million and later compensated for the money.

Inose has said he met with Torao Tokuda, 75, on Nov. 6, 2012, and received the ¥50 million from his son, Takeshi Tokuda, a member of the House of Representatives, on Nov. 20.

Tokushukai is at the center of an alleged election law violation involving the younger Tokuda, in which family members, including his mother, have been indicted for allegedly buying votes in the 2012 general election.

Inose has repeatedly said he borrowed the ¥50 million in a personal capacity and thus did not report the money as election campaign funds.

But if the money turns out to have been used for such purposes, it may indeed break the Public Offices Election Law.

Prosecutors are investigating.