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Ex-Japanese minister and wife arrested in campaign finance scandal

Abe suffers major blow as former foreign policy adviser hit with bribery charges

Kawai Katsuyuki, a former justice minister, and his wife, Kawai Anri, an Upper House member on June 17 in Tokyo (Photo by Uichiro Kasai)

TOKYO -- Japanese prosecutors on Thursday arrested former justice minister Katsuyuki Kawai and his upper house lawmaker wife, Anri, over campaign finance issues, dealing a major blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Katsuyuki, a 57-year-old member of the lower house, is suspected of having bribed local assembly members who helped with his wife's successful campaign for an upper house seat in July. Prosecutors allege that Katsuyuki handed out a total of 25 million yen ($234,000) in cash to around 100 people, mostly local mayors and assembly members in her district, potentially violating campaign finance law.

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