The former president of a wind power company at the center of a bribery scandal has admitted to providing funds to House of Representatives member Masatoshi Akimoto as a "reward" for questioning and interventions in parliament, sources familiar with the matter said Saturday.

Masayuki Tsukawaki, who resigned on Friday as president of Japan Wind Development, had initially denied to prosecutors the allegations of bribing Akimoto but changed his stance in August, the sources said.

Known as an advocate of renewable energy, Akimoto, 48, left the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and resigned as parliamentary vice foreign minister after the allegations surfaced.

According to the sources, Tsukawaki is believed to have given funds to Akimoto on more than 20 occasions, with the total reaching ¥30 million ($205,000), in the form of investments in a racehorse owners' group.

The group was set up by Tsukawaki, Akimoto and others but was effectively under the control of the lawmaker.

Akimoto has made requests in parliament for the government to review assessment standards in awarding contracts for offshore wind power projects — something in favor of Japan Wind Development.

The Tokyo-based firm was bidding for offshore wind power projects in Aomori Prefecture and other locations.

During a Lower House session in February 2019, Akimoto said he hoped no excessive or unnecessary restrictions would be placed on wind power facilities developed in the sea off Aomori.