Casino bribery arrest is blow for Abe's post-Tokyo Olympics growth strategy
Japan Times -- Dec 27
The arrest Wednesday of a former state minister in charge of the government’s policy on integrated casino resorts has brought about another scandal for the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and dealt a blow to one of the key aspects of the ruling party’s economic growth strategy.

House of Representatives lawmaker Tsukasa Akimoto, 48, of Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, was apprehended on suspicion of receiving ¥3.7 million in bribes from Chinese gambling operator 500.com Ltd.

Sources familiar with the matter said Thursday that he is suspected of receiving ¥3 million in cash from the Chinese gambling operator on Sept. 28, 2017, the day the Lower House was dissolved for a snap election, as support for his election campaign.

Prosecutors allege Akimoto, who had been working as a member of the Diet’s suprapartisan integrated resort promotion group launched in 2010, traveled to Hokkaido in February last year at the invitation of the Chinese firm and that expenses for the trip, amounting to around ¥700,000, were provided by the company.

The Diet enacted an integrated resort promotion law in December 2016, after the legislation cleared a related Lower House committee chaired by Akimoto, despite concerns about a possible rise in gambling addiction among the public and the potential for money to be laundered through casinos.

News source: Japan Times
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