No quick relief seems to be coming for lawmaker Tsukasa Akimoto, who was arrested over suspicion of taking bribes from a Chinese gambling firm seeking favors in the licensing process of integrated resorts. Japan is going to launch three integrated casino resorts in the first phase of its gambling expansion plan.
On Friday, a Tokyo court affirmed the request of the prosecutors to extend Akimoto’s detention. The prosecutors had requested that court that the lawmaker’s detention is extended to Jan 14, to help the investigation get to the nitty-gritty of the bribery scandal.
Akimoto was a deputy minister and in charge of the government’s policymaking on casinos. The officers raided his office following which he was arrested over suspicion of taking bribes from Chinese gambling operator 500.com. While the government has said that the arrest of Akimoto will not deter its plans, Akimoto has resigned from the party.
The Tokyo court has also extended the detention of three people associated with 500.com who have also been arrested in the casino bribery scandal. The arrested suspects have been booked for bribing the minister.
There’s More To It
It is not just Akimoto who was involved in the scandal – at least the sources don’t say so. Japan’s casino market is expected to be the third-largest in the world and a casino license is being sought by several top gambling operators globally.
The company bribed Akimoto seeking favors in the licensing process and the local media reports say that there are more people involved in the bribery scandal. According to the reports, it was not only Akimoto but five other lawmakers who also received bribes from the gambling operator.
While the investigations are on it would not be surprising if some more arrests follow as Akimoto remains in custody until Jan 14.