The idea of bringing integrated resorts (IRs) to Japan to allow casino gambling has been around for more than 20 years. However, it was a few years ago that the plan received enough attention to be accepted. Throughout, the opposition has argued that bringing casinos into the country will only lead to abuse and all forms of public corruption. While supporters were opposed to this happening, a member of parliament proved the opposition. Then, several other politicians reinforced negativity. Tsukasa Akimoto, a former infamous member of the Japanese House of Representatives, is currently in prison for accepting a bribe in an IR project run by China-based 500.com.
Japanese politician goes to jail
Akimoto was ousted in 2019 for bribery. He was accused of working with 500.com as the company seeks to gain a foothold in Japan’s IR industry, hoping to build a home in Hokkaido. As he tried to plead not guilty, further investigation and the confessions of some of those involved made his remarks worthless. At the end of the investigation, five other lawmakers are involved in the scandal, and a sixth, Mikio Shimoji, will be expelled from the House of Representatives after admitting to receiving advertising aid from 500.com.
According to Japanese media, Akimoto is preparing to buy his clothes and tie with prison clothes and bedding. A Tokyo district court sentenced him to four years in prison without parole. He also has to pay a $ 68,300 fine. Prosecutors had hoped to oust him for five years, so he clarified a bit.
Cancel a parliamentary dear
Akimoto had a successful profile before falling from grace. He has been involved in politics since 004, when he was first elected to the national diet, and has held several influential positions during his tenure. However, when he was appointed to help implement Japan’s IR programs, his work at the top became a downward spiral.
Akimoto was accused of accepting $ 68,300 (7.5 million yen in fines) from Masahiko Kono and Katsunori Nakazato, two “consultants” who worked at 500.com in 2017. The goal was to give the company an advantage that seemed to be intended for an IR in Hokkaido. However, all efforts were in vain, as Hokkaido never made the list of possible host locations for a new residence after deciding to withdraw. The withdrawal took place before the bribery allegations were made public.
Following the revelation of the scandal, Konno and Nakazato were convicted in connection with them and sentenced to suspended imprisonment. However, Akimoto was not so lucky. He was somewhat unlucky as he reportedly tried to give the two money to change their testimony in his case.
Even today, more than two years after the start of the Japan IR project, its fate is still unknown.