• Kyodo News


The Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of a former labor union official found guilty in connection with an illegal election campaign waged by a former Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker, judicial officials said Thursday.

Monday’s decision by the Second Petty Bench will finalize the ruling against Hirokazu Yamamoto, 61, a former district head of the Japanese Trade Union Confederation. Yamamoto received two years in prison, suspended for five years.

Once the ruling is finalized, former Lower House member Chiyomi Kobayashi will be banned from running in her Hokkaido No. 5 district for five years under a provision of the Public Offices Election Law.

A by-election will be held Oct. 24 to fill her seat. She resigned from the Diet in June.

According to the ruling by the Sapporo District Court in February, Yamamoto, a key official in Kobayashi’s run for the August 2009 Lower House race, promised hourly wages to those who solicited votes by phone before the election.

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