Did Caesars Entertainment pay Japanese politicians bribes?
A POPULAR Japanese news source has accused casino giant Caesars Entertainment of paying bribes to politicians.
Shukan Bunshun, a weekly news magazine in Japan, claims Caesars is bribing the politicians via purchasing tickets to their fundraisers which double as social events.
The only way to attend such gatherings is through buying tickets, which Shukan Bunshun says is a form of bribery.
However, Caesars says the practice is legally accepted and revealed that one of the company’s advisors, Jun Okawa has previously bought tickets to attend these types of gatherings in years gone by.
Politicians all over the world raise funds for their activities through social gatherings and it has become a standard practice.
However, Japanese law frowns on political donations from foreign citizens and companies, but the Political Funds Control Law (PFCL) does not explicitly mention the purchase of tickets to events.
The Executive VOP of Public Policy and Corporate Responsibility of Caesars, Jan Jones Blackhurst denied the company had done anything wrong in its dealings with Japanese politicians.
“The recent Bunshun article, as it relates to Caesars Entertainment, focuses on the long-standing and legal practice in Japan of buying tickets to political fundraising events,” she said.
“We believe that the purchases of such tickets by our consultant over many years were made in accordance with the laws of Japan and other jurisdictions, as well as in accordance with our own robust compliance policies and procedures.”
The Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan Yasutoshi Nishimura, who hosted Okawa at one of his fundraisers has also defended the act.
During an appearance at the state Diet Yasutoshi said the practice is legal and does not violate any Japanese law.
A professor at Kobe Gakuin University, Hiroshi Kamiwaki, believes in general terms the PFCL likens political donations to party ticket purchases.
Shukan Bunshun said that US authorities are investigating the matter, to determine whether the conduct is a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977.