Ex-Kamori Kanko’s Chairman Faces 10-Month Imprisonment Sentence for Involvement in Bribery Associated with Integrated Casino Resorts’ Licenses

Kimihito Kamori, who previously chaired Kamori Kanko, a tourism company based in Sapporo, has been found guilty of involvement in bribery associated with his role in the integrated casino resorts’ corruption case involving Tsukasa Akimoto, a senior member of the Japanese’ House of Representatives. Mr. Kamori got a 10-month imprisonment sentence for offering bribery to Mr. Akimoto on behalf of 500.com, a Chinese gambling company that had been interested in receiving one of the three integrated casino resorts operating licenses.

The 77-year-old Kamori faced charges with conspiracy to cover the expenses of Mr. Akimoto at the time he traveled to Hokkaido between September 2017 and February 2018. In the same period, Mr. Akimoto served as Senior Vice Minister of the Cabinet and was the one in charge of the integrated casino resorts legalization process. The move was considered part of the efforts made by the Chinese gambling operator 500.com to be given the Cabinet’s favor for receiving one of the IR licenses.

According to reports, Mr. Kamori was found guilty of being involved in a conspiracy with two former advisers to the Chinese gambling company, and then with Mr. Akimoto who was at the time an important member of the Japanese House of Representatives. According to the Tokyo District Court’s judge, the Japanese lawmaker and his family were invited to Hokkaido in February 2018, with their expenses at the time amounting to ¥760,000.

Lawyers Claiming Mr. Kamori Only Followed 500.com’s Instructions

The judgment was announced a couple of days ago, with the Honorable Judge Toshihiko Niwa saying that Mr. Kamori was found to have been found guilty of providing the Japanese lawmaker and his family with luxurious round-trip transportation and paying for all his expenses during their trip. The judge said Mr. Makori had the intent of bribery to get the lawmaker’s favor on 500.com’s side.

As revealed by the judge while announcing Mr. Kamori’s imprisonment sentence, he had filed his resignation as representative director and was showing remorse.

In 2019, the tourism company Kamori Kanko unveiled plans for establishing a regional integrated resort in the Rusutsu Village in Hokkaido, with the complex including a great variety of casino and entertainment facilities, plus healthcare centers, schools, retail and commercial precincts, etc.

If the abovementioned endeavor was given the green light, the project would have meant a considerable expansion of the already substantial facilities of Kamori Kanko.

The defense claimed that Mr. Kamori was simply following instructions given to him by the advisers of 500.com and asked for the court not to impose an imprisonment sentence on him. However, the judge found that the fairness of duties and the people’s trust was seriously undermined by Kamori sentenced him to ten months in prison. The sentence was suspended for two years.

In August, the two ex-advisers of 500.com confessed they had provided ¥3 in cash for the Japanese lawmaker in September 2017. Apart from that, the Chinese company is facing allegations to have offered him bribes worth an additional ¥4.6 million by organizing trips to Macau, Shenzhen and Hokkaido.

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