Mr. Kozaka was found to have passed away on May 24 (image from his website)
According to a report by FRIDAY Digital, Toshihito Kozaka, a member of the Toshima Ward Council, passed away on May 24. He was 57 years old and a member of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan faction of the Toshima Ward Assembly.
In the morning of the 27th, the secretary-general of the faction brought a paper with the obituary of Mr. Kozaka. It said, “Mr. Kozaka passed away while he was recuperating from an illness.”
After graduating from the School of Commerce at Waseda University in 1988, Mr. Kozaka worked for a company that developed and operated golf courses and ski resorts, and for an insurance agency before being elected to the Toshima Ward Council for the first time in 2011. During his unsuccessful campaign, he worked for a non-profit organization and engaged in welfare for the disabled, and was known as an energetic ward assemblyman who was a human rights activist, working on a resolution to eradicate sexual violence in the assembly.
Although he is said by those involved to be “recovering from an illness,” there are in fact many mysteries surrounding Kozai’s death. A person related with the Toshima Ward Council speaks of his death.
On May 23, a meeting was scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. between Kozaka and the council chairman, vice chairmen, and others. However, when the time came, Mr. Kozaka did not show up. It was an important meeting, so we contacted the people involved and were informed by the police that Mr. Kozaka had attempted suicide at his home.
Mr. Kozaka was rushed to emergency from his apartment in Toshima Ward around noon the same day (the Ikebukuro Fire Department told FRIDAY Digital, “There is no doubt that an ambulance was dispatched to that address during that time period.) Kozaka’s condition was thought to have temporarily improved, but he passed away in the early hours of the 24th.
A source in the ward assembly continued, “Mr. Kozaka was under suspicion. It was suspected that he had misappropriated political activity funds for his own personal use. The political activity expenses of the three members of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) faction in the Toshima Ward Council were transferred in a lump sum to an account controlled by Kozaka, in the amount of 1.35 million yen for three months. Late last year, one of these councilors became suspicious that his office rent had not been deducted from his account for two consecutive months, and he began investigating.
In January of this year, the counselor, through his lawyer, asked Mr. Kozaka to disclose the records of the account’s receipts and disbursements. At the end of March, a response from Mr. Kozaka was received which contained the following information.
“Of the 1.35 million yen in political activity expenses, approximately 1.15 million yen was used to pay off my credit card loan.”