Politician claims colleague offered bribe of ‘5 years’ worth of rice’


NARA — A member of the Nara Prefectural Assembly is poised Sept. 2 to file a criminal complaint of bribery against a colleague he claims tried to bribe him with five years’ worth of rice.

Shuji Amano, the assembly member, says he has a smartphone recording of fellow local politician Kiyoshi Yamamoto offering him a series of bribes that also included a cash payment of 200,000 yen ($2,600) for his support in a vote to elect the chairman of the municipal assembly.

Amano told reporters he refused the offers from Yamamoto and will now file a criminal complaint against him, accusing him of bribery.

Amano said that Yamamoto, then the chairman of the prefectural assembly, called him into his office on the morning of June 24 and offered him with a variety of incentives in exchange for his vote in a poll to elect the assembly chairman. At the time, Yamamoto was campaigning to be elected assembly chairman, running against a candidate supported by the assembly’s largest faction, to which Amano belongs. Yamamoto lost the subsequent election.

Amano said he used his smartphone to record his 20-minute-long conversation with Yamamoto, including the then-chairman’s offers of cash or rice for his backing.

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