Former Lower House lawmaker Yojiro Nakajima, currently standing trial for vote-buying, pleaded guilty Friday before the Tokyo District Court to falsifying statements on the use of political subsidies, taking bribes from Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. and defrauding the state of 10 million yen.
Nakajima, 39, is accused of submitting false accounting reports on a 12.6 million yen portion of 20 million yen in Liberal Democratic Party subsidies given to its Gunma chapter in 1996 and 1997.
He is also charged with taking 5 million yen in bribes from Fuji Heavy executives between January and August 1996, and submitting a false statement to the government to receive more political subsidies.
Nakajima pleaded guilty in his first trial hearing on Jan. 7 to providing 20 million yen to his supporters to buy votes during the 1996 House of Representatives general election.
During the hearing, Nakajima announced he would step down from the Diet. His resignation was formally approved Jan. 12. The district court heard the vote-buying case first because the Public Offices Election Law requires a speedy trial for violators.
But because Nakajima is no longer a Diet member, the Public Offices Election Law does not apply, thus making a quick trial unnecessary.
The court decided last week to combine the vote-buying case with the other charges, and Nakajima’s counsel indicated his client intended to plead guilty to all counts. After prosecutors read the indictments Friday at Nakajima’s second hearing, the former lawmaker told the court the “facts in the indictments are all correct.”
Prosecutors allege that last March, Nakajima collaborated with Yasushige Iida — who was in charge of accounting at the LDP’s Gunma chapter — Nakajima’s former secretary, Koichi Kaneko, and his first secretary, Shigeaki Myoen, in falsifying accounting reports to show that the entire 20 million yen in political subsidies was spent.
The statements were submitted to the prefectural election administration commission as well as to LDP headquarters, according to the prosecutors.
There is no restriction on the use of such subsidies, but lawmakers are required to file a report on how the money is spent. If subsidy statements are falsified, offenders face imprisonment of up to five years or a fine of up to 1 million yen.
Prosecutors also said that in 1997, about 8.4 million yen of a 10 million yen public grant to the Gunma chapter was transferred from a bank account set up in the name of Nakajima’s official secretary to the account of “Nakajima Seikei Konwakai,” a fund management group operated by the lawmaker.
In addition, prosectors allege Nakajima received 5.2 million yen of 10 million yen in government money from October 1996 to January 1998 paid into a bank account held by Yoshiaki Saito, 42, who passed himself off as Nakajima’s policy secretary.
The 10 million yen was budgeted for work that Saito never did, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors also said Nakajima received 5 million yen in cash on Oct. 31, 1996, from Yasuyuki Kogure, 76, a former managing director of Fuji Heavy Industries, under Chairman Isamu Kawai’s instruction, when Nakajima was a parliamentary vice minister of the Defense Agency.