Japanese lawmaker who on Monday admitted taking bribes from Chinese gambling operator 500.com has been expelled by his party.
On Wednesday, Japan’s Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) has expelled its member who admitted to taking bribes after he was questioned by prosecutors earlier this week.
Miko Shimoji, a member of the Japan Innovation Party (also a member of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, Japan’s parliament), tendered his resignation to his party leadership.
However, instead of accepting the resignation, the party leadership just expelled Shimoji from its membership. Shimoji accepted to have taken $1 million in bribe to help 500.com in its efforts to win a casino license in Japan.
The Nippon Ishin no Kai has also asked the lawmaker to resign from his position in the parliament. For the party, the involvement of one of its elected representatives has brought fresh troubles.
Jiji Press reports that the party which is in close ties with Osaka Ishin no Kai, a regional political party in Osaka Prefecture, “apparently aims to minimize the Shimoji scandal’s negative effects on its image as it hopes to attract an IR to the western Japan prefecture.”
Japan’s casino gambling scene is marred by the bribery scandal which surfaced following the arrest of Japan’s ruling party lawmaker Tsukasa Akimoto’s arrest on 25 December.
Akimoto is suspected of taking bribes from 500.com, a charge which he denies. Following Akimoto’s arrest names of several other lawmakers have surfaced. Despite the opposition demanding a ban on casinos in the country, the government has said that ti si firm on its stand to launch three integrated resorts in the first phase.