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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 September 6 - 12  > Sitting ex-LDP Dietmember arrested for bribery
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2023 September 6 - 12 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Sitting ex-LDP Dietmember arrested for bribery

September 8, 2023

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

Tokyo Prosecutors on September 7 arrested sitting House of Representatives member Akimoto Masatoshi, who was once a parliamentary secretary at the Foreign Ministry, for receiving substantial funding from a wind farm developer and in return raising questions in Diet sessions that would benefit the firm. Akimoto left the Liberal Democratic Party after the allegations surfaced in August. He, however, is still in the Diet and has not yet explained to the general public what actually happened.

Akimoto is suspected of receiving bribes of about 60 million yen in total between March 2019 and June 2023 from a former president of Tokyo-based Japan Wind Development Co., Ltd. in regard to offshore wind power generation (OWPG) projects. At subcommittee sessions of the Lower House Budget Committee in February 2019 and February 2022, Akimoto choose questions that met the company's needs. The company was hoping to win bids for OWPG projects. The ex-president reportedly admitted to the fact that the money had been given to Akimoto as reward for his Diet questions favorable to the company.

Diet questioning is an extremely important duty of Dietmembers. Accepting cash or gifts in return for Diet questions that would comply with specific enterprises' wishes brings discredit to Dietmembers. It is a very serious problem that "money-for-politics" scandals show no sign of ending.

Akimoto served as chief secretary of the LDP parliamentary group for renewable energy promotion. When the Act on Promoting the Utilization of Sea Areas for the Development of Marine Renewable Energy Power Generation Facilities was enacted in 2018, he had a role in drawing up the draft law as a parliamentary vice-minister for the Ministry of Land and Infrastructure.

Prime Minister Kishida Fumio will inevitably be held responsible for having appointed Akimoto to the position of parliamentary secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The LDP should fulfill its accountability to the general public as it worked to have Akimoto elected through the Minami-Kanto proportional representation bloc.

Past related article:
> JCP Koike: LDP should work to uncover facts behind alleged bribery involving LDP lawmaker [August 5, 2023]
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