Tsukasa Akimoto Granted Bail by Tokyo District Court

  • Prosecutors filed an appeal against the decision to grant bail
  • He will remain in prison until the appeal process has been completed
  • Bail conditions prevent him from contacting lawmakers linked to his bribery case
bail concept
Former Japanese lawmaker Tsukasa Akimoto has been granted bail by the Tokyo District Court, with ¥30m ($270,000) paid on the same day that his bail was set. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Appeal delays release

Tsukasa Akimoto, the former Japanese lawmaker at the center of the Japan’s casino bribery scandal, been approved for bail by the Tokyo District Court.

Akimoto cannot be released from jail until the appeal process has been completed

A bail payment of ¥30m ($270,000) was met on the same day that it was set by the court. An appeal has been made by the prosecuting legal team against the decision to award bail. As a result of this appeal, Akimoto cannot be released from jail until the appeal process has been completed. 

Conditions of bail agreement

As part of his bail conditions, Akimoto is not allowed to contact any of the other five lawmakers allegedly involved in accepting bribes from a gambling company in China called 500.com. 

These lawmakers are part of the House of Representatives and have been questioned by the authorities since this scandal first came to light, albeit on a voluntary basis. The allegations are that each lawmaker accepted a bribe of ¥1m ($91,180) from former representatives of the Chinese gambling firm. 

Akimoto is also prohibited from contacting two other political figures. These figures are Takaki Shirasuka, a lawmaker that is part of the country’s ruling partner, and Shigeaki Katsunuma, a former lawmaker. These two men allegedly joined Akimoto on a trip to a casino in Macau in 2017 after being invited there by 500.com.

Akimoto facing numerous charges

Akimoto was one of the main drivers to legalize casino resorts in Japan. He was initially arrested on December 25. The initial indictment alleges he accepted cash payments totaling ¥3m ($273,540) from the Chinese company in September 2017. It has also been alleged that the company paid his expenses for a family trip in early 2018.

He received a second indictment last week in which allegations were made that he took a bribe worth ¥2m ($182,360) in September 2017. He denies doing so, claiming that he received this payment for speaking fees.

Despite these charges, Akimoto continues to deny these allegations.