Pachinko Operator in Tokyo Searched over Casino Bribery Scandal

Society

Tokyo, Dec. 26 (Jiji Press)--Japanese prosecutors searched a "pachinko" pinball parlor chain operator in Tokyo on Thursday in connection with a bribery scandal involving a casino resort plan.

The pachinko chain had paid consultancy fees to an entertainment company set up by a former policy secretary to lawmaker Tsukasa Akimoto, sources familiar with the matter said.

Akimoto, a member of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of parliament, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of accepting bribes from 500.com, a Chinese company that planned to open a casino resort in Japan.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office has already searched the homes of the former policy secretary and a former private secretary to Akimoto in relation to alleged cash smuggling by 500.com.

The former policy secretary set up the entertainment firm in 2011, the year after Akimoto lost his seat in the House of Councillors, the upper chamber, and became the firm's representative director. The post was taken over by the other secretary.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press