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Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto said Thursday evening that he had wanted lawmaker Shokei Arai, found hanged at a Tokyo hotel earlier in the day, to clear himself of suspicion of wrongdoing in court rather than take his own life.

“Since he has been claiming innocence, he should have tried to prove it in court,” the prime minister told reporters. Arai killed himself just hours before he was to be arrested on suspicion of receiving illegal profits from Nikko Securities Co.

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