Tokyo prosecutors searched the office Friday of a ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker who serves as a vice minister on suspicion he received a bribe from a wind power company, the Asahi newspaper and other media said.
(Bloomberg) — Tokyo prosecutors searched the office Friday of a ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker who serves as a vice minister on suspicion he received a bribe from a wind power company, the Asahi newspaper and other media said.
Masatoshi Akimoto has been chief secretary of the Parliamentary Association for Promotion of Renewable Energies within the ruling LDP since 2017, according to a Foreign Ministry website. He has also been a parliamentary vice-minister for foreign affairs since August 2022.
Public broadcaster NHK reported earlier that Tokyo prosecutors had questioned the head of unlisted Japan Wind Development Co., Ltd. over suspicion it provided payments to Akimoto in a non-transparent way, NHK cited a source close to the prosecutors as saying.
The company has denied bribing any politicians or officials, NHK reported. No one answered the phone at Akimoto’s office. Tokyo prosecutors declined to comment in response to questions from Bloomberg News, while Japan Wind Development referred queries to a lawyer, who did not immediately respond.
The reports come as a fresh blow to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, whose public support has been around its lowest level since he took office almost two years ago.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno declined to comment on the media reports and said he hadn’t received a comment from Akimoto on the matter.
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