Komae mayor also admits taking bribes

Former Mayor Mitsuo Ishii of Komae, Tokyo, who stepped down last June after amassing huge gambling debts, pleaded guilty April 15 to charges of bribe-taking in his first trial hearing before the Hachioji branch of the Tokyo District Court.

According to the indictment, Ishii accepted 2 million yen at his home from Noboru Wada, president of Goko Construction Co., around April 9 last year for accepting Goko’s bid for a municipal construction contract. Ishii is a descendant of leading landowners in Komae and was first elected to the mayoral post after serving as president of a construction company and a municipal assemblyman. However, he suddenly quit during his third term in office last June.

It was later determined that he was saddled with 3 billion yen in debts after losing heavily in gambling in South Korea. In the mayoral election held after his resignation, Komae became the first municipality to elect a mayor from the Japanese Communist Party.