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Former Vice Foreign Minister Arrested in $414,000 Bribery Scandal Linked to Wind Power Advocacy

Fraud, Bribery & CorruptionFormer Vice Foreign Minister Arrested in $414,000 Bribery Scandal Linked to Wind Power Advocacy

Former Vice Foreign Minister Masatoshi Akimoto of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s Cabinet has been arrested by Tokyo prosecutors on suspicion of accepting over 61 million yen (approximately $414,000) in bribes from a wind power company in exchange for promoting wind power initiatives and providing favorable treatment. Here are the key details:

  • Bribery Allegations: Akimoto is accused of receiving bribes, including 30 million yen (around $204,000) in cash at his parliamentary office, from an executive of a wind power company on multiple occasions between February 2019 and June 2023. These allegations came to light as part of a bribery investigation, leading to Akimoto’s arrest.
  • Resignation: In response to the allegations and the investigation, Akimoto resigned from his position as vice foreign minister and left the governing Liberal Democratic Party in August.
  • Advocacy for Renewable Energy: Akimoto had been an advocate for promoting renewable energy, and he had reportedly urged the government not to heavily regulate the waters off the coast of Aomori. This region was of interest to Japan Wind Development Co., the company linked to the alleged bribery.

The arrest of a former high-ranking government official highlights the importance of transparency and accountability in promoting clean energy initiatives and combating corruption in the renewable energy sector. It underscores the need for ethical practices and adherence to legal standards in the promotion of renewable energy projects.

By FCCT Editorial Team

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity.

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