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Tokyo Summary Court has handed a three-year ban on standing for or voting in elections to former industry minister Isshu Sugawara for distributing cash to voters in violation of the public offices election law, it was learned Monday.

Isshu Sugawara | KYODO
Isshu Sugawara | KYODO

The court also fined Sugawara, a 59-year-old former House of Representatives member in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, ¥400,000, under the order dated Wednesday.

If Sugawara pays the fine, he will become unable to run for public office for three years, including in the Lower House election to be held in the autumn.

He was given a summary indictment on June 8 on charges of giving ¥530,000 in cash and 20 floral arrangements worth some ¥270,000 to 33 groups and 26 people in his Tokyo constituency between April 2018 and October 2019.

Last year, the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office decided not to indict Sugawara, who had been accused of handing out condolence money in his constituency.

But the prosecutors’ office reopened the investigation after a prosecution inquest panel concluded that Sugawara should be indicted, leading to the summary indictment.

In 2000, former Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera was hit with a summary order that suspended certain civil rights for three years and fined him ¥400,000 for distributing boxes of incense sticks worth some ¥500,000.

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