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Election charges plague Tomishiro City mayor

Date Posted: 2007-02-10

Houmei Kinjo rolled to a relatively easy election as Tomishiro City’s mayor last October.

Tomishiro City Police are now saying ‘not so fast’ about the victory, suggesting he may have illegally received campaign money from companies who have now won bids to perform work for the city. The money in question was donated last August, months before the election.

The 63-year-old Kinjo says meetings with construction companies and his campaign workers wer simply to ask for work and to be supportive during the election campaign.

Many people now say that those meetings, and those contributions from two or three companies were aimed at influencing future contracts. Kinjo’s campaign says the money from construction companies was strictly private donations, and that the money was clearly identified as such and put on the financial records.

Police are saying “because the donation was from private persons, and not companies”, circumstances require an investigation.

Mayor Kinjo says “I”ve heard about this matter for the first time. It’s nonsense. My campaign support group never even asked money from them. Construction companies have no money, so we can never ask them to pay.”

The Public Election Regulation 199 says “Companies who want to receive work from a city office, or from the Diet or Assembly, may not have its members donate (to political campaigns).” The regulation also prohibits candidates or city mayors from ever seeking donations from those companies, as well, because it is unfair to do business that way.

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