Ex-farm minister to be indicted for bribery

Sources say Tokyo prosecutors plan to soon indict former agriculture minister Yoshikawa Takamori on charges of accepting bribes from a major egg producer during his term in office.

Yoshikawa allegedly received 5 million yen, or about 48,000 dollars, from a former head of Akita Foods in Hiroshima Prefecture between November 2018 and August 2019.

Sources say the former head told prosecutors that he gave Yoshikawa a total of about 170,000 dollars over six years until last year, including when Yoshikawa was not a minister.

The sources say the former head asked that the agriculture ministry oppose draft standards for poultry breeding drawn up by an international organization.

Yoshikawa admitted to the prosecutors that he received the money. He told them he thought the 5 million yen he received during his term was for celebrating and supporting his political activities.

Yoshikawa, who is 70 years old, resigned as a member of the Lower House last month, and underwent surgery for a heart illness.

The prosecutors raided Yoshikawa's office and other locations after his resignation. They have not detained him, apparently assuming that he is not a flight risk.