• Kyodo

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The Kumamoto District Court has declared House of Councilors lawmaker Hirohide Uozumi of the Liberal Democratic Party bankrupt.

Uozumi, 64, told a news conference Friday at the Diet in Tokyo that the bankruptcy declaration was issued Wednesday at the request of one of his creditors. He said he will not relinquish his Diet seat.

“I will appeal,” he said.

Uozumi said he fell into debt because the president of the company whose loans he had guaranteed had filed for personal bankruptcy before the debt was paid off. He said the company deceived him about the debt guarantee and claimed that he was a victim.

“I admit it’s embarrassing to have been suckered by such a scam,” Uozumi said.

He said he will file a criminal fraud complaint with prosecutors against the company president.

The secretariat of the Upper House said the bankruptcy declaration would have no effect on Uozumi’s Diet position.

Uozumi’s salary as a lawmaker has been seized to pay creditors since he gained his Upper House seat in 2000.

He served as vice minister at the Defense Agency for a year beginning in 1991 and was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1996. He lost the Lower House elections of 1993 and 1996.

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