NHK has learned that Tokyo prosecutors have questioned a Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker over suspected illegality by a Chinese firm.
Lower House member Tsukasa Akimoto was questioned on a voluntary basis. It is believed that he was asked about his involvement with a Chinese company hoping to enter the fledgling Japanese market for integrated resorts that will include casinos.
Officials of the firm's Japanese affiliate are suspected of bringing tens of thousands dollars' worth of cash into Japan in violation of the foreign exchange act.
The special investigative team searched an office linked to the affiliate in Tokyo's Minato Ward. The residences of Akimoto's two former aides were also searched in early December.
Akimoto gave the keynote speech at a symposium on integrated resorts in August 2017. Until this September, he served as state minister of the cabinet office in charge of integrated resorts and other issues.
The Chinese firm took part in the symposium, which was held in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture. It also visited Hokkaido as part of its efforts to enter the market.
Speaking to NHK on Saturday, Akimoto denied involvement in any wrongdoing.