The prosecution in the IR corruption scandal trial involving Japanese House of Representatives member Tsukasa Akimoto has called for jail time for the two advisors of Chinese online gaming company 500.com accused of offering bribes.
Closing arguments in the case against Masahiko Konno and Katsunori Nakazato were heard at the Tokyo District Court on Friday, with prosecutors stating, “Four bribes were made over a short period of time, and there was a deep relationship created for the purpose of receiving information about the considerations for the IR Development Act within the government and ruling party.
“This has significantly damaged public confidence in the development of an IR business facility.”
The prosecution is seeking two years imprisonment for Konno and 22 months for Nakazato.
The defense argued that because 500.com – which was initially seeking to develop an integrated resort in either Hokkaido or Okinawa – had ultimately been unable to participate in the IR race, no actual harm had been done. It also noted that the defendants had refused to accept bribes of their own from Akimoto to provide false testimony and that they had cooperated in the investigation, calling for any prison time to be suspended. The ruling is scheduled to be handed down on 12 October.
The former chairman of Sapporo tourism company Kamori Kanko, Kimihito Kamori, was last week found guilty of bribery and sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, for his role in the case after suppling travel expenses for a trip by Akimoto to Hokkaido between September 2017 and February 2018. Akimoto was in charge of IR business as Senior Vice Minister of the Cabinet at the time.