On 11 May, the Tokyo District court dismissed a bail request from Tsukasa Akimoto, the member of Japan’s House of Representatives who is accused of bribery in a corruption case involving IR in Japan. The defense made the request on 7 May.
Akimoto was released on bail in February 2020 after being charged with bribery. He had been in detention for about nine months since August 2020 after his re-arrest on suspicion of trying to bribe a witnesses to perjure themselves. This was the fourth time Akimoto had requested bail.
The charge of bribing a witness was newly included according to the Punishment of Organised Crime Act that came into effect in 2017 along with criminalizing terrorism preparation. Penalties include up to two years in prison or a fine of up to JPY300,000 (US$2,750).
Further, if found to be involved in of organized crime, it can come with a prison term of five years and a maximum fine of JPY500,000 (US$4,600). It is unfortunate that the first time that this law will be seen in action is in the charges of an incumbent member of the House of Representatives.