Arrested Lawmaker Given 2 M. Yen in Casino Address Fees

Society

Tokyo, Dec. 27 (Jiji Press)--A Chinese company suspected of bribing Japanese lawmaker Tsukasa Akimoto paid him some 2 million yen in fees for delivering a keynote address at a symposium on casino-featuring integrated resorts, it was learned Friday.

The Shenzhen-based company, 500.com., originally planned to pay Akimoto 500,000 yen for the speech, but quadrupled the amount as soon as it learned that he would be named state minister in charge of IRs at the Cabinet Office, sources said.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office's special investigation team believes that 500.com boosted the speaking fee in the hope of receiving preferential treatment from Akimoto for its ambition of launching a casino resort in Japan.

The special squad arrested the 48-year-old member of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament, on Wednesday on suspicion of receiving a total of about 3.7 million yen in bribes, including 3 million yen in cash, from the Chinese company.

The symposium, hosted by 500.com, took place on Aug. 4, 2017, in Naha, the capital of the southernmost Japan prefecture of Okinawa. The chief executive officer of the company also gave a keynote address at the event. Akimoto became Cabinet Office state minister on Aug. 7 that year.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press