03 Jan 2020
An adviser to a Chinese gambling operator under investigation for allegedly bribing Japanese lawmaker Tsukasa Akimoto over a casino resort project has told investigators that the company also gave cash to another five lawmakers, a source familiar with the matter said Thursday.
Katsunori Nakazato, the adviser to 500.com Ltd., said he handed 1 million yen ($9,200) each to the five lawmakers around September 2017 when 3 million yen was given to Akimoto, who as deputy minister was in charge of overseeing government policy on the introduction of “integrated resorts” comprising of casinos, hotels and conference hall facilities, the source said.
Some of the five belong to a cross-party group of lawmakers dedicated to promoting international tourism, according to the source.
Speaking to Kyodo News, one of the five lawmakers admitted to meeting with Nakazato, a former member of the Urasoe city assembly in Okinawa, without knowing he was advising the Chinese company.
The lawmaker also denied receiving “even a penny” in cash from the company, adding it did not give donations or buy tickets for political events.
Aside from the alleged receipt of 3 million yen, Akimoto is also suspected of receiving around 700,000 yen from the Chinese company to cover travel expenses.
Read more at Nikkei Asian Review
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