Political group office raided over alleged election campaign obstructions

Tokyo police have raided the main office of a political group named "Tsubasa no To," or Tsubasa party, on suspicion that it obstructed campaigning by other candidates during a Lower House by-election in April.

Police on Monday initiated the raid on the office in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward and related facilities for alleged violations of the public offices election law.

The group fielded a candidate for the Tokyo No.15 constituency in the April 28 poll in which nine candidates competed.

Investigative sources say the group is suspected of using loudspeakers to persistently disturb speeches by other candidates during the campaign.

The group also allegedly chased after campaign vans of other political camps.

Police also searched the homes of the group's secretary-general, Nemoto Ryosuke, and its leader, Kurokawa Atsuhiko. Nemoto was the group's candidate in the by-election.

Police had warned the group after it blared a car horn during a rival candidate's speech on April 16 as official campaigning kicked off. They say the action in front of JR Kameido Station amounted to obstruction of election campaigning.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department says it has also received complaints from other candidates' camps that the group disrupted their campaign activities.

The police say it is rare for them to raid facilities linked to a political group over suspected election campaign obstructions.