The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors' Special Investigation Division is expected to charge Representative Masari Akimoto, who was arrested in a corruption case involving an offshore wind power project, on charges of bribery on May 27, the deadline for his detention. In addition, the Special Investigation Department is believed to be investigating the fraud charge of fraud for being involved in the fraudulent receipt of sustainability benefits provided by the government as an economic measure against the new coronavirus.
According to those involved, Akimoto denies any of the charges.
Masatoshi Akimoto, a 48-year-old member of the House of Representatives who left the LDP, was arrested by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors' Special Investigation Division on suspicion of bribery for allegedly receiving large loans and funds in return for a request from Masayuki Tsukawaki, 64, former president of Japan Wind Power Development, a wind power company in Tokyo, to ask questions to the Diet regarding offshore wind power generation that the government is aiming to expand.
Akimoto asked Diet questions in accordance with the wishes of the company, such as requesting that excessive regulations not be imposed on projects in the waters off the coast of Aomori Prefecture, where Japan wind power development is aiming to enter, due to the impact on defense-related facilities, and according to those involved, former president Tsukawaki sent an email to Akimoto asking Diet questions. It was sent to multiple executives of the company.
The Special Investigation Department is expected to indict Akimoto on charges of bribery on the 27th of his detention, as well as former president Tsukawaki at home for bribery.
In addition, the Special Investigation Department is believed to be investigating Representative Akimoto for fraud as well, alleging that a company represented by a person related to Representative Akimoto's office was involved in the fraudulent receipt of a national sustainability subsidy of 200 million yen by falsely applying that business income had decreased significantly due to the effects of the new coronavirus.
According to those involved, Akimoto denied the charges of bribery, saying, "It was not a bribe, and I did not ask the Diet question because I was asked," and he also denied any involvement in the fraudulent receipt of benefits.