Japanese politicians deny casino bribe accusations

Japanese politicians deny casino bribe accusations

After Japanese politicians were accused of getting casino bribes, many have come forward and denied such statements posted by local media.

Japan.- Japanese media has posted major accusations against local politicians over allegedly receiving bribe money. Reports say that several of them got bribes from casino lobbyists to favour them in a Hokkaido or Yokohama development.

This comes as media cited undisclosed “investigative sources” as it targeted five representatives over alleged bribes. However, many of them stepped forward and denied such accusations.

Representative Hiroyuki Nakamura said: “I accepted a legitimate political donation and included the money in a political funds report,” as quoted by the Jiji Press news agency.

Takeshi Iwaya, former defence minister, also denied accusations against him: “I absolutely deny it (…) From the perspective of laws regulating political funds as well, it’s impossible that I got donations from a foreign firm.”

First accusations

Suspicious activity sparked an inquiry by a Japanese lawmaker who voluntarily attended the questioning. Lower House member Tsukasa Akimoto discussed his involvement with a Chinese company hoping to land in the country’s incoming casino market.

Tokyo prosecutors questioned the Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker over suspected illegality, which he denied. 

The suspected relation dates back to a symposium on integrated resorts in August 2017. Akimoto gave the keynote speech there and the Chinese company attended the event.

The Japanese lawmaker may have taken part in the intended casino project. Moreover, NHK reports the special investigative team searched an office linked to the affiliate in Tokyo’s Minato Ward and the residences of two former aides.

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