The Sapporo High Court determined Wednesday that former House of Representatives lawmaker Chiyomi Kobayashi cannot run in her Hokkaido No. 5 constituency for five years, after her election campaigner was convicted over illegal campaign activities.
Invoking the guilty-by-association clause under the Public Offices Election Law, the high court accepted the argument by the Sapporo High Public Prosecutors Office that the former lawmaker of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan be considered implicated in the scandal.
Kobayashi, 42, accepted the decision, saying in a statement, ''I will honor the ruling by taking it seriously. I apologize again that I damaged public trust of politics.''
The guilty-by-association clause stipulates that under certain conditions, a victory in national elections could be nullified and the candidate could be banned from running for five years in case someone related with the candidate is convicted over election fraud.
The guilty verdict on Kobayashi's campaigner was finalized last October for paying campaign volunteers in the August 2009 lower house election, prompting the prosecutors to seek the invocation of the guilty-by-association system in November.
In the 2009 election, Kobayashi defeated former Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura of the Liberal Democratic Party. But she resigned last June over the election fraud.© Japan Today