Former Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai announced his resignation as a lawmaker Tuesday after pleading guilty at a Tokyo court to vote-buying in a bid to secure a seat for his wife in a 2019 Upper House election.

Kawai, a House of Representatives member, allegedly violated the election law by handing out cash to politicians and supporters in Hiroshima Prefecture to reward them for votes secured in the campaign to get his wife, Anri Kawai, elected in July 2019.

During questioning by prosecutors at the Tokyo District Court, Katsuyuki Kawai, 58, said, "By and large, I will not fight the vote-buying charge," making an about-face from previous court hearings in which he had pleaded not guilty.