Akimoto Suspected Of Taking Bribe Before Election

Akimoto suspected of taking bribe before election

NHK has learned that a Japanese lawmaker arrested for allegedly taking bribes from a Chinese company is suspected of having received cash worth about 27,000 dollars on the day the Diet was dissolved for a snap election in 2017.

Tokyo prosecutors arrested Tsukasa Akimoto on Wednesday on charges that include taking bribes from the Chinese company, 500.com. The company was seeking to enter Japan's integrated resort businesses, which includes casinos.

At the time of the alleged bribery, Akimoto was state minister at the Cabinet Office and the tourism ministry.

Sources say Akimoto is suspected of having received money in a paper bag on September 28, 2017, at his office in the Lower House office building. They say it was handed to him by Masahiko Konno, an adviser to the Chinese firm.

The prosecutors suspect that the bribe was a donation to his campaign.

A lawyer who met Akimoto said he denies the allegations.