Prosecutors search places linked to ex-Tokyo Gov. Inose

Prosecutors have searched several places linked to former Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose as part of their investigation into his receipt of 50 million yen from a major Japanese hospital chain, sources close to the issue said Saturday.

Inose, 67, has repeatedly said the money given by Tokushukai in November 2012 was a personal loan, but Torao Tokuda, founder of the hospital chain, was quoted as telling the prosecutors that it was to be used for Inose's gubernatorial election campaign.

If the 50 million yen had been for the election, Inose should have listed it in his fund report for the campaign, but he did not do so.

The prosecutors did not specify which places had been searched, but the move came after a civic group filed a criminal complaint claiming he violated the public office election law by failing to list the money in the fund report.

Inose won the gubernatorial election in December 2012 and stepped down about a year later over the money scandal.

Tokushukai, meanwhile, has also been involved in election fraud, which led Tokuda's son Takeshi, 42, to give up his parliamentary seat.