National

Sentences upheld for Tsuzuki aides

Kyodo

The Nagoya High Court upheld suspended sentences Monday for aides to Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker Yuzuru Tsuzuki for promising to pay election campaign workers in violation of the election law.

The lawmaker will lose his seat if either Toshihiko Kusano, 53, who was Tsuzuki’s chief election campaign officer, or Nobumoto Iseki, 29, who was a secretary to the House of Representatives member, is convicted.

The loss of the seat is expected to remain pending because the aides plan to file appeals with the Supreme Court. The high court upheld sentences of 18 months in prison, suspended for five years, for each of the two aides, dismissing their appeals against the rulings in March by the Toyohashi branch of the Nagoya District Court.

Tsuzuki ran in Aichi Prefecture’s No. 15 single-seat district but lost. He ended up with a Diet seat under the proportional representation segment of the election.

Under the “guilt by association” provision of the election law, lawmakers can be stripped of their Diet seats if courts find that senior campaign staff, aides or family members broke the law.

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