• Kyodo


The leader of a major crime syndicate is under arrest on suspicion of entertaining voters in connection with the Chiba Prefectural Assembly election, police said.

Isao Seki, the 69-year-old chairman of the Sumiyoshi-kai and a resident of Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, and two others allegedly hosted voters at a restaurant in the city of Isumi in early March to reward them for gathering votes for a candidate the gang intended to back in the election the following month.

Seki was arrested Sunday. Entertaining individuals for votes and engaging in campaign-related activity before the official campaign period kicks off is against the public office election law.

More than 10 people, including voters, were allegedly wined and dined at the affair, providing entertainment worth several thousand yen to each person, the police said.