Top Tokyo Prosecutor Kurokawa Hit by Gambling Scandal, Urged to Resign


Tokyo, May 20 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo High Public Prosecutors Office head Hiromu Kurokawa faced a weekly magazine allegation on Wednesday that he played mahjong for money earlier this month in disregard for Prime Minster Shinzo Abe's state-of-emergency declaration and Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike's stay-at-home request to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

In the wake of the online report by the Shukan Bunshun news magazine, Noritoshi Ishida, policy head of Komeito, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's coalition partner, demanded at a press conference that Kurokawa resign, saying, If (the report) is true, he cannot continue his duties."

"Kurokawa will have to quit shortly," said an LDP member who was a cabinet minister. "It's unforgivable for the person who is supposed to crack down on illegal gambling to play mahjong for money."

In the opposition camp, Jun Azumi, parliamentary affairs chief of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, told reporters, "It's impossible for him to fulfill his duties as superintendent public prosecutor."

The magazine article said Kurokawa visited a Sankei Shimbun reporter's home on May 1 and played mahjong as a betting game with others including an employee of the Asahi Shimbun, another major Japanese daily, until the small hours of the following day. The prosecutor was also alleged to have played mahjong on May 13, during the coronavirus emergency.

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