• Kyodo


The former mayor and deputy mayor of the city of Kushiro were handed suspended sentences Wednesday for interfering in the mayoral election of a neighboring town that has the same name.

The court found former Mayor Kensuke Watanuki, 56, and his deputy, Hidenobu Kakizaki, 58, guilty of violating the Public Offices Election Law by meddling in the mayoral election for the sibling town in an effort to smooth merger talks with the smaller municipality.

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