Japan Govt Approves Top Tokyo Prosecutor's Resignation

Politics Society

Tokyo, May 22 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government approved Friday the resignation of top Tokyo public prosecutor Hiromu Kurokawa after he played mahjong for money during the country's coronavirus state of emergency.

The government is considering replacing Kurokawa, 63, superintending prosecutor at the Tokyo High Public Prosecutors Office, with Makoto Hayashi, 62, superintending prosecutor at the Nagoya High Public Prosecutors Office, sources familiar with the matter said.

Kurokawa, who tendered his resignation on Thursday, has admitted that he played mahjong for money with employees of newspaper publishers, including journalists, on May 1 and 13, according to the Justice Ministry. After playing mahjong, he returned home in a taxi paid for by the journalist side.

In January, the government extended the tenure of Kurokawa, who is believed to be close to the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, by changing its interpretation of law. The move was criticized by opposition parties as an attempt to name him as prosecutor-general.

The government also drew criticism for seeking a law revision that would allow the cabinet to extend the retirement age of senior public prosecutors at its discretion. It eventually gave up its push to enact the revision during the current session of parliament, set to end next month.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press