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2013年12月27日 (金)

徳洲会事件起訴 徳田議員に問われる説明責任

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 26, 2013
Lawmaker Tokuda needs to explain the provision of ¥50 mil. to Inose
徳洲会事件起訴 徳田議員に問われる説明責任(12月26日付・読売社説)

One chapter in the investigation into allegations of election fraud involving the Tokushukai hospital group has come to an end. Yet suspicions over the group’s provision of ¥50 million in cash to former Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose have not yet been cleared up.
 選挙違反事件の捜査には一区切りがついた。だが、猪瀬直樹・前東京都知事への5000万円提供問題の疑惑は、いまだに晴れていない。

A thorough elucidation of this matter is necessary.
 徹底解明が必要だ。

In connection with the alleged election irregularities by Toku-shukai, the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office’s special investigation squad has indicted six people—including the mother and a sister of House of Representatives member Takeshi Tokuda and senior officials of Tokushukai—over allegations of violating the Public Offices Election Law.
 医療グループ「徳洲会」の選挙違反事件で、東京地検特捜部は、徳田毅衆院議員(鹿児島2区)の母親と次姉、徳洲会幹部ら6人を公職選挙法違反で起訴した。

The six allegedly gave money to senior officials of Tokushukai and others for the purpose of securing votes for Tokuda in the lower house election last December. The funds are believed to have gone to senior election campaign members in Kagoshima Constituency No. 2, Tokuda’s electoral district.
 6人は、昨年12月の衆院選で徳田議員を当選させるため、票の取りまとめ目的で買収資金を幹部らに提供したとされる。資金は、地元の選挙運動幹部らに流れたとみられている。

Tokushukai is said to have spent more than ¥200 million to buy votes in this fraud. It is quite surprising that such a large-scale illegality went unchallenged.
 この事件で、徳洲会が投じた買収資金は2億円を上回るという。大がかりな違法行為がまかり通っていたことに驚くばかりだ。

The special squad suspects that the unlawful act was led by Torao Tokuda, a former lower house member and Takeshi Tokuda’s father, whom the prosecutors did not indict because of his serious illness.
 特捜部は、難病のため起訴を見送った徳田議員の父、虎雄元衆院議員が違法行為を主導したとみている。

Tokushukai cannot help but be suspected of perpetrating election fraud in its entire organization from the time when its group founder Torao was a lawmaker.
組織ぐるみの選挙違反は、創業者の虎雄氏の代から続いていたとみられても仕方がない。

Diet seat at risk

Takeshi’s second oldest sister has admitted to allegations that the Tokuda family was at the center of the election irregularities. Takeshi has reportedly denied involvement in the election fraud during questioning by the special squad, but due to the guilt-by-complicity system in the election law, he is increasingly likely to lose his Diet seat.
 起訴された次姉は「徳田家が違法選挙の中心にあった」と容疑を認めている。徳田議員は、特捜部の調べに対し、事件への関与を否定したというが、公選法の連座制の規定により、失職する可能性が高まったと言えるだろう。

Under the guilt-by-complicity system, an elected official may lose his or her seat if family members or campaign managers are found to have broken the law, when a sentence of imprisonment or a financial penalty is finalized by the court.
 連座制が適用されると、候補者の親族、選挙運動幹部の禁錮や罰金以上の罪が確定した場合に、当選が無効となる。

The focus of the investigation is now expected to shift to the provision of the ¥50 million.
 捜査の焦点は今後、5000万円問題に移るとみられる。

Although Inose has said he received the ¥50 million as a “personal loan” from Tokushukai, his words were not convincing and he was eventually driven to resign.
 猪瀬氏は「個人の借り入れ」と釈明したが、説得力を欠き、辞職に追い込まれた。

Takeshi, who reportedly handed the money over to Inose, has seldom appeared in public since he left the Liberal Democratic Party last month.
 猪瀬氏に5000万円を手渡したとされる徳田議員は先月、自民党を離党して以来、ほとんど公の場に姿を見せていない。

Takeshi has to fulfill his responsibility to explain to the voters, as a concerned party, about whether the ¥50 million was intended as election campaign funds for Inose.
 5000万円に選挙資金の意図はなかったのか。徳田議員は当事者として、有権者に対し、説明責任を果たすべきだ。

Deepening the suspicions in connection with the relationship between Tokushukai and Inose is the issue of a hospital in Tokyo run by Tokyo Electric Power Co.
 徳洲会と猪瀬氏の関係について、疑惑を深めているのが東京電力病院の問題である。

When Inose visited Torao at the hospital to ask for his campaign support last November, shortly before the Tokyo gubernatorial election, the topic of selling off TEPCO’s hospital reportedly came up.
 都知事選直前の昨年11月、猪瀬氏が虎雄氏に支援を依頼した際には、東電病院の売却問題も話題に上った。

Tokushukai participated in competitive bidding to take over the hospital but withdrew its bid after it became subject to an investigation by the special squad in September.
東電病院の入札には、徳洲会も参加していたが、今年9月に特捜部の強制捜査を受け、辞退した経緯がある。

How much did Takeshi know about the sell-off of the TEPCO hospital? The special squad has to elucidate the whole matter by going ahead with its questioning of Inose, while also questioning Takeshi over the issue.
 徳田議員は、東電病院問題について、どこまで事情を知っていたのか。特捜部は、改めて徳田議員に事情を聞くとともに、猪瀬氏側からの聴取も進めて、全容を解明しなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 26, 2013)
(2013年12月26日01時32分  読売新聞)

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