Lawmaker Akimoto faces rearrest on additional casino bribery charges

As he reaches the 23-day limit of his detention over charges that he accepted 3 million yen (about US$28,000) in bribes from the Chinese lottery firm 500 Dot Com, prosecutors reportedly plan to rearrest former State Minister for the Cabinet Office Tsukasa Akimoto, now believing that the bribes were more than double what they initially suspected.

Prosecutors now suspect that the true monetary value of the bribes given to Akimoto were in the range of 7 million yen, and included an inflated speaking fee for a promotional lecture in Okinawa, as well as a luxury trip to Shenzhen and Macau which false bookkeeping suggested that he reimbursed expenses for, but were in fact entirely paid for by 500 Dot Com.

A new public opinion poll conducted by Kyodo News found that more than 70% of Japanese believe that the IR construction plans should be “reviewed” in light of the bribery scandal. Only 21% support the government’s policy of pushing ahead without change or review.