Japan Innovation Party’s Mikio Shimoji Resigns From Diet Amid 500.com IR Corruption Scandal

The former Minister for Postal Service Privatization and Diet member of the Japan Innovation Party, 58-year-old Mikio Shimoji, has resigned from the party after admitting to receiving JPY 1 million from Chinese company 500.com in relation to its pursuit of an IR license.

Shimoji had previously held a press conference in Naha city on Monday at whicn he acknowledged that he had received the sum as cash for election funding from a former consultant of 500.com during the election period. The former consultant has been arrested on charges of bribery.

Shimoji did not declare the JPY 1 million in his political funding report, the Asahi Shimbun reports.
On Tuesday, Shimoji stated that he wanted to leave the party in order to protect its image and that he would like the matter to reach its conclusion before the opening of the Diet’s session.

Prior to this, Ichirō Matsui, mayor of Osaka and Representative of the Japan Innovation Party, took a firm stance on the matter, stating, “In the comings and goings of politicians, you need to take responsibility for your own actions. Receiving donations and putting it into your pocket instead of declaring it is a violation of the law. It is proper that he resigns from the Diet.”

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