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Former Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai, who is on trial for alleged vote-buying to help his wife’s 2019 election campaign, has expressed his intention to resign as a lawmaker, sources familiar with the matter said Thursday.

Katsuyuki Kawai is accused of handing out a total of about ¥29 million to 100 individuals in a vote-buying scheme. | KYODO
Katsuyuki Kawai | KYODO

Kawai, a 58-year-old House of Representatives member, is accused of handing out a total of about ¥29 million to 100 individuals, including local politicians and supporters in his home prefecture of Hiroshima, to reward them for votes secured in the campaign to ensure his wife, Anri Kawai, would be elected.

She won in the House of Councillors election in July 2019 but the couple quit the ruling Liberal Democratic Party just before they were arrested in June last year.

Anri Kawai, 47, was found guilty in January for conspiring with her husband in handing out cash to four prefectural assembly members and resigned as a lawmaker last month.

Katsuyuki Kawai was released on bail earlier this month.

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