Nippon Ishin Expels Shimoji over Casino Scandal
Osaka, Jan. 8 (Jiji Press)--Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) expelled Mikio Shimoji, one of its lawmakers, from the party on Wednesday over money he received from a Chinese company at the center of a bribery scandal linked to casino-featuring integrated resorts.
On Tuesday, Shimoji, a member of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament, submitted a letter of resignation from the party to its leadership.
But Nippon Ishin refused to accept the letter and opted to oust him instead. Shimoji on Monday admitted that he received one million yen in cash from the Chinese company, 500.com, which was planning to run a casino resort in Japan. The party also decided to urge Shimoji to resign as a lawmaker.
Nippon Ishin, which is closely related to Osaka Ishin no Kai, a regional political party in Osaka Prefecture, apparently aims to minimize the Shimoji scandal's negative effects on its image as it hopes to attract an IR to the western Japan prefecture, pundits said.
Nippon Ishin decided on the expulsion of Shimoji at meetings of its disciplinary committee and executives. After the meetings, Nippon Ishin Secretary-General Nobuyuki Baba told reporters in the city of Osaka that Shimoji has substantially hurt public trust in politicians.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]