Shimoji Offers to Leave Nippon Ishin over Casino Scandal

Politics

Naha, Okinawa Pref., Jan. 7 (Jiji Press)--Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) lawmaker Mikio Shimoji submitted a letter of resignation from the party to its leadership on Tuesday to take responsibility for his receipt of cash from a Chinese firm at the center of a bribery scandal linked to casino-featuring integrated resorts.

The 58-year-old member of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament, plans to decide whether to resign as a lawmaker before the Jan. 20 start of the ordinary Diet session.

As the reason for leaving the party, Shimoji suggested in talks with reporters after a meeting with his supporters in Naha, the capital of the southernmost Japan prefecture, Tuesday that his receipt of the money from the Chinese firm, 500.com, could tarnish the image of the party.

Shimoji submitted the resignation letter to Nippon Ishin Secretary-General Nobuyuki Baba through his secretary on Tuesday morning.

At a press conference on Monday, Shimoji said that he received one million yen in cash from a former adviser of 500.com. in October 2017, during the campaign period for the Lower House election in the same month.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press