Lawmaker Akimoto Pleads Not Guilty over Casino-Linked Graft

Society

Tokyo, March 29 (Jiji Press)--Japanese lawmaker Tsukasa Akimoto pleaded not guilty in the first hearing of a trial on Monday over a high-profile corruption case linked to the government's plan to introduce casino-featuring integrated resorts in Japan.

Akimoto, a 49-year-old member of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of parliament, and former Cabinet Office state minister for IR policy, denied charges of accepting bribes from a Chinese company and of offering cash for perjury in violation of the law against organized crime.

The trial of Akimoto and Akihiro Toyoshima, 42, a former policy secretary of Akimoto, who has been indicted for suspected conspiracy with the lawmaker over the bribery case, is being held at Tokyo District Court.

In the bribery case, four officials of the Chinese company, 500.com Ltd., including two former Japanese advisers, have been found guilty of bribing Akimoto with the aim of receiving favorable treatment over its bid to join an IR project in Japan.

Also, four supporters of Akimoto have been found guilty of asking the former Japanese advisers of 500.com to commit perjury in relation to the scandal.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press