On July 22, it was reported that the Metropolitan Police Department had sent Toshito Kosakai, 57, a former ward assembly member of the Toshima Ward Assembly, to prosecution with the suspect dead. Kozaka was a member of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan faction, and is suspected of embezzling approximately 7 million yen in political activity fees paid to the faction. On May 28, FRIDAY Digital reported that Kozaka had died, that this embezzlement case was behind it, and that the DPJ had stubbornly refused to disclose this fact. It is reproduced below.
According to a report by FRIDAY Digital, Toshito Kosaka, a member of the Toshima Ward assembly, 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.
Mr. Kosaka was a member of the Toshima Ward Council’s Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (DJPJ) faction. It said, ‘Mr. Kosaka 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 was known as an energetic ward assemblyman who was a human rights activist, working for a non-profit organization to engage in welfare for the disabled and 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 actually many mysteries surrounding Kozai’s death. A person involved with the Toshima Ward Assembly spoke 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. Kosaka did not show up. It was an important meeting, so we contacted the people involved and were informed by the police that Mr. Kosaka had attempted suicide at his home.
Mr. Kosaka was rushed 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.) Kozai’s condition was thought to have temporarily improved, but he passed away in the early hours of the 24th. A former ward assembly official continued, “There are suspicions that Mr. Kosaka was involved in some kind of trouble.
A source in the ward assembly continues, “Mr. Kosaka 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 Kosakais, 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 councilor, through his lawyer, asked Mr. Kosaka to disclose the records of the account’s receipts and disbursements. The district assemblyman asked Mr. Kosaka to disclose his account records through his attorney in January of this year, and Mr. Kosaka retained an attorney.
Of the 1.35 million yen in political activity expenses, approximately 1.15 million yen was used to pay off my credit card loan.
There was a big commotion within the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan when it was discovered that he had used his tax-funded political activity expenses to pay off his own debts. A source within the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) said.
Kozai turned himself in to the Ikebukuro police station in mid-April and was questioned by the police. We don’t know for what reason he borrowed money, but this is embezzlement of taxpayers’ money. Despite this, it seems that Kosaka had no intention of quitting at first.
Because of the magnitude of the situation, some members of the party had urged him to resign, hold a press conference, and disclose the incident. At the end of April, a member of the lower house of the party told a member of the party who was actively trying to publicize the issue, “If you pursue this issue any further, we won’t recognize you in the next election,” which could be taken as an indication that he was not willing to resign. In late April, a member of the lower house of the party threatened a lawmaker who was actively trying to publicize the issue, saying, ‘If you pursue this issue any further, we will not recognize you in the next election.
Since the incident came to light at the end of March, there has been a dispute within the Rikken Democrats over whether Kozai would resign and whether he would make the matter public. It was scheduled for May 23 to discuss Kosaka’s future at a meeting with the chairman of the ward assembly and other members. However, Mr. Kosaka did not show up for the meeting that day, and we learned that he had passed away.
When we requested an interview with the DPJ, they responded that the Tokyo Metropolitan Federation would handle the matter, but we did not receive a response by the deadline.
As for Mr. Kozaka’s death, we would like to offer only our prayers for his repose. However, shouldn’t the DPJ provide a proper explanation for this alleged embezzlement?