A court sentenced a former travel agency chief Friday to 10 months in prison, suspended for two years, for bribing lawmaker Tsukasa Akimoto over a casino resort project in Hokkaido.

The sentence against Kimihito Kamori, 77-year-old former chairman of Kamori Kanko Co., based in Sapporo, was the first delivered in the high-profile corruption scandal involving the 48-year-old House of Representatives member.

Kamori was found guilty of conspiring with two former advisers to Chinese company 500.com Ltd. to bribe Akimoto in the hope of securing favorable treatment for their plan to open a casino resort in the village of Rusutsu, Hokkaido.

In February 2018, the three invited Akimoto and his family to Rusutsu and paid ¥760,000 in costs, according to the ruling by Toshihiko Niwa, presiding judge at Tokyo District Court.

Niwa said Kamori treated Akimoto, then state minister in charge of casino resort development, to please him. Kamori’s actions “seriously undermined the fairness of duties and the trust of the people,” Niwa said.

Akimoto has been indicted on charges of receiving some ¥7.6 million in bribes over the resort project and asking the former 500.com advisers to commit perjury in relation to the scandal.


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