• Jiji


Prosecutors sought a five-year prison term for lawmaker Tsukasa Akimoto in a corruption case linked to an integrated resort and casino project.

His acts significantly damaged public trust in such resort projects, public prosecutors said at his trial in a Tokyo District Court.

They also asked that he receive a ¥7.6 million fine.

Akimoto, 49, a member of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, is accused of taking bribes from a company and offering bribes to witnesses in his trial.

The prosecutors said that Akimoto began taking bribes just after he took office as state minister in charge of affairs related to integrated resorts.

He was actively and deeply involved in the corruption while refusing to admit his wrongdoing, the prosecutors added.

The trial will be concluded after the final argument by the defense slated for July 20. The verdict is due out Sept. 7.

According to the indictment, Akimoto received bribes worth ¥7.6 million from Chinese company 500.com Ltd., which aimed to launch an integrated resort in Japan.

Akimoto also offered bribes to two former 500.com advisers between June and July last year, when he was out on bail, asking them to provide false testimony to the court, the indictment said.

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