Lawmaker Akimoto Served Fresh Warrant in Casino Bribery Case

Society

Tokyo, Jan. 14 (Jiji Press)--Public prosecutors served a fresh arrest warrant on House of Representatives lawmaker Tsukasa Akimoto on Tuesday, in a high-profile bribery scandal involving a Chinese company hoping to run a casino in Japan.

On the same day, the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office indicted Akimoto, former Cabinet Office state minister in charge of the government's policy on the introduction of casino-featuring integrated resorts, or IRs, in Japan, on initial bribery charges against him.

The prosecutors did not disclose whether the Lower House member is admitting or denying the charges, but he is believed to be denying them.

According to the fresh warrant, Akimoto, 48, allegedly received 2 million yen by bank transfer from the Chinese company, 500.com Ltd., in early September 2017, for his speech at an event hosted by the firm in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, southern Japan, on Aug. 4 that year.

The speech compensation was raised from the initially offered 500,000 yen, as the Chinese firm learned a few days later that Akimoto would assume the IR-linked government post, according to informed sources.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press