The prosecution in the ongoing IR corruption case involving Japan House of Representatives member Tsukasa Akimoto has requested a 10-month prison term for Kimihito Kamori, the former chairman of tourism and hospitality firm Kamori Kanko Co.
Kamori is charged with conspiracy to supply travel expenses for a trip by Akimoto to Hokkaido between September 2017 and February 2018 when Akimoto was in charge of IR business as Senior Vice Minister of the Cabinet – part of efforts by Chinese gaming firm 500.com to win his support for an IR bid.
The company had at the time been looking to develop an IR in either Hokkaido or Okinawa.
In a statement, Kamori said, “I passionately urged Rusutsu Village, Hokkaido, to make an IR bid and ended up actively involved in a crime. It was a severe crime that significantly damaged confidence in an IR policy.”
The defense claims that the intention of Kamori’s bribery was low and that he was in a subordinate position, receiving instructions from the 500.com representatives at the heart of the scandal – Masahiko Konno and Katsunori Nakazato.
Sentencing is scheduled for 25 September.
Kamori Kanko Co last year outlined plans for a regional integrated resort in Hokkaido’s Rusutsu Village, including everything from casino and entertainment facilities to schools, healthcare centers, commercial and retail precincts and multi-family homes.
Had it gone ahead, the project would have encompassed a sizeable expansion of Kamori Kanko’s already substantial facilities, which include Rusutsu Resort Hotel and Convention Centre – a popular ski resort that attracts more than 1.5 million visitors per year.