Prosecutors to launch investigation into ex-Tokyo Gov. Inose

Prosecutors are expected to launch an investigation into former Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose, who stepped down last year over his receipt of 50 million yen from one of the country's largest hospital chains, the Tokushukai group, sources close to the issue said Tuesday.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office plans to question Inose, 67, after it accepted a complaint filed by members of a civic group who claim the money was not listed in Inose's fund report for his Tokyo gubernatorial election campaign in violation of the public office election law.

They also argue the money may have been provided in exchange for Inose's favorable treatment for Tokushukai, which aimed to acquire a hospital operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co.

As governor, Inose had power to approve the opening of hospitals.

Inose received the money from House of Representatives member Takeshi Tokuda, son of Tokushukai founder Torao Tokuda, in November 2012 and won the gubernatorial election the next month.

Inose said he borrowed the 50 million yen in a personal capacity and therefore the money was not reported as election campaign funds to authorities.

Tokushukai is at the center of another election violation case involving Takeshi Tokuda, in which some of his family members, including his mother, have been indicted for buying votes in the 2012 general election.