• Kyodo News

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Chiba Mayor Keiichi Tsuruoka has expressed willingness to step down during a meeting with his lawyer after his arrest for bribery, his lawyer said Friday.

“I don’t admit to the allegations, but I will resign as I have caused the city residents trouble,” Tsuruoka, 68, was quoted as telling the lawyer.

The mayor of the government-designated major city was arrested Wednesday by Tokyo police on suspicion of receiving around ¥1 million in cash from a Tokyo construction firm in 2005 in return for helping the company win a contract for city-ordered work.

Tsuruoka, who won the mayoral race in June 2001, is now serving his second term. He has said he would retire and not run in the next mayoral race on June 14.

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