Tokyo governor apologizes over money receiving

Tokyo governor apologizes over money receiving

TOKYO, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Naoki Inose, governor of Japan's capital of Tokyo, made an apology on Friday over accepting 50 million yen (about 489,050 U.S. dollars) from scandal-hit Tokushukai group before last December's gubernatorial election.

Inose said in a speech at the Tokyo metropolitan assembly that he regretted his behavior, which caused trouble to Tokyo residents and assembly members.

During the 15-day assembly session, representatives of parties will question the governor over his receipt of the fund, said Japan's Kyodo News.

Inose said Tuesday that he had no plans to step down although acknowledged that he received the illicit funds before running the gubernatorial election.

He said the funds he got from the Tokushukai Group were a personal loan and that the funds were in no way used to finance any of his campaign.

The money, however, was only returned by the governor once investigators had started their probe into the Tokushukai Group, with Inose offering the group additional money by way of interest on the loan.

The Tokushukai Group has been central to an election fraud scandal that has rocked the ruling Liberal Democratic Party of late, with lawmaker Takeshi Tokuda on Nov. 12 resigning after six of his associates were arrested on suspicion of being involved in illegal election campaigning related to Tokuda's general election campaign in December 2012.