Japanese lawmaker questioned about casino project

Taimada Akimoto, a Japanese lawmaker, was questioned about a casino project from a Chinese company and his contacts with the potential foreign investor.

Japan.- Suspicious activity sparked an inquiry to 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 been involved with 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.

Osaka IR

The Japanese casino industry will soon go live and will turn the country into a major hub in Asia. That’s why most governments are pushing to get one of the three authorisations for gaming venues.

One of the top candidates is Osaka, which planned to open its IR before the 2025 World Expo. However, the Mayor has revealed the Yumeshima venue won’t be ready by then after all.

“If we are working together and then impose an unreasonable condition, we couldn’t really call ourselves ‘partners,’” he said. As AGBrief reported, the official explained their original goal was unrealistic and pushed it back to 2026.

“Our efforts would be meaningless if no firm accepts the public tender,” Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura added.

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