Ex-Advisers to Chinese Firm Admit Bribing Lawmaker Akimoto

Society Politics

Tokyo, Aug. 26 (Jiji Press)--Two former advisers to Chinese company 500.com Ltd. pleaded guilty on Wednesday to charges of giving bribes to Japanese House of Representatives lawmaker Tsukasa Akimoto over a casino-featuring integrated resort project.

In the first hearing of their trial at Tokyo District Court, Masahiko Konno and Katsunori Nakazato, both 48, admitted charges of bribing the 48-year-old Lower House member to help 500.com's bid to run an IR in Japan. Akimoto was Cabinet Office state minister in charge of the Japanese government's IR strategy.

Akimoto has been indicted on charges of receiving bribes over the resort project and was also arrested on suspicion of asking Konno to commit perjury in favor of the lawmaker in relation to the scandal, in violation of a law against organized crime. In addition, he is suspected of playing a role in asking Nakazato to give false testimony.

In the court hearing, the two former 500.com advisers explained the way Akimoto and his alleged conspirators tried to persuade them to commit perjury after they were released on bail.

"I was shown 20 million yen in cash," Konno said. "I was told I would be given an additional 10 million yen as a fee for success, but I refused everything and told prosecutors about it," he said. "I was offered 5 million yen and was told that I would be taken care of for life, but I refused," Nakazato claimed.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press