• Kyodo


Tokyo prosecutors have decided to issue a summary indictment which carries a fine of up to ¥1 million to a former top Tokyo prosecutor for gambling with news reporters last year, sources familiar with the matter said Saturday.

The issue was under reinvestigation after an inquest last year determined Hiromu Kurokawa, believed to have been favored by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when he was in office, should be indicted for playing mahjong for money with them.

The 64-year-old escaped indictment in July as prosecutors decided he had admitted to the gambling and received social punishment.

A summary indictment is a simplified proceeding that skips a court examination and applies to less serious offenses resulting in fines.

The Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution had concluded in December that Kurokawa should be indicted as he had been in a position to deter illegal acts as head of the Tokyo High Public Prosecutor’s office, and that his gambling with reporters when Japan was under a state of emergency due to the novel coronavirus pandemic had a significant impact on society.

The Tokyo prosecutors had determined that Kurokawa had played mahjong for money with two reporters from the national daily Sankei Shimbun and an employee of the Asahi Shimbun on four occasions between April and May.

He stepped down in May after admitting to the allegations reported by weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun earlier that month.

The two Sankei Shimbun reporters were suspended for four weeks, while the Asahi Shimbun employee was suspended for one month.

The inquest determined the three should not be prosecuted, and they are unlikely to face indictment even after the reinvestigation, the sources said.

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