Dubious Use of Funds Suspected at Akimoto-Linked Firm

Society

Tokyo, Jan. 3 (Jiji Press)--A possibly dubious use of funds is suspected at a Tokyo entertainment company linked to Japanese lawmaker Tsukasa Akimoto, who was arrested last month for allegedly taking bribes from a Chinese company, it was learned Friday.

The entertainment firm, established by a former policy secretary to Akimoto, 48, in July 2011, collected money mainly in the name of consulting fees from companies, and part of the revenue may have been used to pay salaries of the former secretary, informed sources said. Akimoto, a member of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament, once served as adviser for the firm.

There is a possibility that the money might have had to be booked in a political fund report as donations, and the special investigation team of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office is working to confirm the usage of the money, according to the sources.

Akimoto, former Cabinet Office state minister in charge of the Japanese government's project to launch casino-featuring integrated resorts, was arrested by the special team of prosecutors on Dec. 25 on suspicion of receiving 3.7 million yen in bribes, including 3-million-yen cash, from Shenzhen-based online sports lottery provider 500.com, which was planning to open an IR in Japan.

The entertainment-related company earned consulting fees and other income under contracts with multiple businesses, with its annual revenue seen having topped 10 million yen, the sources said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press