Akimoto May Have Prepared Part of Reward Money for Perjury

Society

Tokyo, Aug. 22 (Jiji Press)--Japanese lawmaker Tsukasa Akimoto, who was arrested on Thursday for alleged witness tampering over a bribery scandal linked to a casino-featuring integrated resort, is believed to have prepared part of the cash offered to a suspected briber as a reward for committing perjury, it was learned Saturday.

The special investigation team of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office is analyzing materials seized from Akimoto’s offices to investigate how he secured the funds.

Akimoto, 48, a member of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, Japan’s parliament, has already been indicted on suspicion of taking bribes from Chinese company 500.com Ltd., which was planing to run an integrated resort in Japan.

According to investigative sources, former 500.com adviser Masahiko Konno, 48, who has been indicted for allegedly bribing the lawmaker, was approached by the Akimoto side on June 27 and July 22, being asked to make statements in favor of Akimoto at his trial.

On both dates, corporate executive Fumihiko Sato, 50, who has been arrested for allegedly asking for perjury over the bribery case, met with Konno at a hotel in Naha, the capital of the southernmost Japan prefecture of Okinawa. At the first meeting, Sato offered to give Konno 10 million yen if he makes false statements for Akimoto. The amount of the reward was raised to 20 million yen at the second meeting, the sources said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press