• Kyodo


Former Chief Cabinet Secretary Takao Fujinami, who was convicted in a 1980s stocks-for-favors bribery scandal, announced Thursday that he will run for re-election to the House of Representatives in the forthcoming general election, expected to be held June 25.

Fujinami, 67, an independent member of the Lower House, said at a news conference in his hometown of Ise that he will seek a seat in the prefecture’s No. 5 constituency in the upcoming election.

Takeshi Yamamura, 42, of the Democratic Party of Japan, and Kiyoharu Kuroki, 46, of the Japanese Communist Party, also have announced they will run for the seat.

Fujinami, a former member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, was indicted in 1989 of accepting bribes from Recruit Co., a Tokyo-based job information conglomerate. He later resigned from the LDP.

In 1999, the Tokyo High Court sentenced him to three years in prison, suspended for four years, and fined him 42.7 million yen — the amount he received in bribes in the form of checks and unlisted stocks between August 1984 and September 1986.

A Lower House committee in March rejected a resolution sponsored by the DPJ, the JCP and the Social Democratic Party calling for Fujinami’s resignation.

The resolution was voted down by the LDP and one of its two coalition partners, the Liberal Party.

Fujinami cannot be forced by law to vacate his seat. The Public Offices Election Law, which was revised in 1992, bans those convicted of receiving bribes from running for public office, but is not applicable to cases that took place before the revision.

Fujinami lost his Lower House seat in the 1993 election but was re-elected in 1996. He served as chief Cabinet secretary in Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone’s second Cabinet from 1983 to 1985.