Beautiful City Council Member Spoofing Her Rival Candidate’s Identity: “The Entire Crime” Remembered on Security Camera | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Beautiful City Council Member Spoofing Her Rival Candidate’s Identity: “The Entire Crime” Remembered on Security Camera

Resigned from council after distributing "spoof flyers" of rival candidate Wandering around the scene dressed in black and fleeing in a dash after inserting the flyers

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On October 28, Horimoto announced his resignation from the council at a press conference. He repeated excuses throughout, saying, “I didn’t intend to trick you.”

Please take a look at the images below. This is the security camera footage of the entire crime, in which Wakako Horimoto, 41, a former member of the Fukuoka City Council, distributes flyers impersonating her opponent.

In the early hours of August 8 this year, Mr. Horimoto, dressed all in black with a hat and mask, appeared in a residential area in Hakata Ward, Fukuoka City, and after sneaking around in the shadows, he quickly approached a mailbox and distributed leaflets. He fled in a dash (see third image, item 3). A security camera installed in a condominium in the same ward showed a sign next to the mailbox that read, “Please refrain from dropping flyers in the mailbox! (fourth image, third point). The leaflets distributed by Mr. Horimoto totaled approximately 200 copies.

Yuji Shinkai, 54, a former member of the House of Representatives and a member of the House of Councillors, who was the victim of impersonation, filed criminal charges about a month after the incident was discovered. The car was identified from security camera footage, and Mr. Horimoto was questioned on suspicion of forging private documents, leading to his resignation from the Diet on October 28. Mr. Shinkai said.

I was surprised to hear from a number of acquaintances in the morning that they had received strange leaflets in their mailboxes. Such malicious manipulation of impressions is unacceptable, but for the time being I am relieved that the leaflets are no longer being distributed.

However, Mr. Shinkai continues, there are still questions about the incident.

I just can’t believe that Ms. Horimoto made these leaflets all by herself. She was driving around Hakata Ward distributing leaflets, pinpointing the areas where my supporters were located. No doubt she had a driver who knew the area.”

Who was driving Mr. Horimoto’s car–? Among local city council officials, there is a person whose name has been actively mentioned since immediately after the incident was discovered.

He is a man named X, who has been officially certified by The Japan Innovation Party and is planning to run for the Fukuoka City Council next spring. X ran for the Fukuoka City Council several times in the past, but was unsuccessful in each of those elections.

Mr. Horimoto was elected to the city council in 2007 after managing an apparel company, but he and Mr. X had been close friends prior to the election. A local official who knows both men well testifies, “Mr. X and Mr. Horimoto were close friends before the election.

A local source who knows Horimoto and X well testified, “Horimoto may have been having financial difficulties with the apparel company he was running, and he and X once asked me if there was anyone who could lend him some money. After that, it was also X who advised Horimoto to become a member of the Diet. The two were well known locally for their friendship, and they often went out to dinner together.

FRIDAY called Horimoto directly on his cell phone to get the truth.

–Is it true that Mr. X was with you on the day you distributed the leaflets?

Yes, it is true. I tricked him into cooperating with me by telling him that I was going to distribute a newspaper called “Wakako Horimoto Shinbun” (The Wakako Horimoto Newspaper). I asked her to let me ride in her car.

–You did not distribute leaflets under Mr. X’s direction?

No, I did not. I told the police that I made them on my computer.

–What is your relationship with Mr. X?

Some people think it’s funny, but it really wasn’t (a man-woman relationship). We were good friends for a long time. Really, really not.

Mr. Horimoto seemed flustered throughout the conversation, and then the phone call ended.

Mr. Shinkai, the victim, sighed.

How is it possible that he was sitting next to me in the car and didn’t know the contents of the flyer? …… I heard that the police are investigating X as well. Depending on how Mr. Horimoto responds, I intend to file a civil suit to restore his reputation.”

It seems that the curtain has not yet been drawn on the unprecedented “spoofing leaflet case.

The flyer created by Ms. Horimoto. She says she distributed them because she was “extremely distressed by the donation issue of the former Unification Church.
Security camera footage. The top image shows Mr. Horimoto peering around from the shadows on the right. After quickly posting the mail, he ran away.
On October 28, Horimoto announced his resignation from the council at a press conference. He repeated excuses throughout, saying that he had no intention of “tricking” the councilors.

From the November 18, 2022 issue of FRIDAY

  • PHOTO Kyodo News (2nd photo)

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