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The Japanese media was caught off guard when former Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai suddenly pleaded guilty during his trial for allegedly buying votes in Hiroshima Prefecture during the 2019 Upper House election.

Kawai had previously denied the accusation that he had distributed around ¥30 million to about 100 people in order to help elect his wife, Anri, who was running on the Liberal Democratic Party ticket. The fact that he not only changed course in the middle of his trial but resigned his own Lower House seat had reporters scratching their heads.

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