• Kyodo

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The mayor of the city of Yaizu, Shizuoka Prefecture, was arrested Friday on suspicion of receiving illegal political donations related to the mayoral election in August 1999, police said.

Takayuki Hasegawa, 74, is suspected of receiving some 2.5 million yen in donations from four companies doing business with the city during the election campaign, police said.

Police also arrested the owners of two construction companies that were among the four firms.

In addition, they served a fresh arrest warrant on Hasegawa’s son-in-law, Wataru Hasegawa, 51, who is already in detention.

Wataru, who kept the accounts of an official election support group for his father-in-law during the campaign, was indicted Thursday on charges of receiving 1 million yen of 2.5 million yen given by a local gas company and its affiliate during the campaign in late July 1999.

In the new arrest warrant, the son-in-law is accused of conspiring to obtain the whole 2.5 million yen, police said.

Mayor Hasegawa is suspected of having accepted the donations, knowing they were illegal, they said.

“I knew it was a bad thing. . . . I reported details of the donation to the mayor,” the police quoted Wataru Hasegawa as saying under questioning.

The mayor served five four-year terms as a member of the Shizuoka Prefectural Assembly and was once speaker of the assembly before being elected mayor on Aug. 1, 1991.

In last year’s election, Hasegawa narrowly beat his opponent, a former member of the Yaizu Municipal Assembly, by 1,700 votes.

Yaizu is a sea-front city with a population of 115,000.

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