SHIZUOKA (TR) – Shizuoka Prefectural Police on Saturday arrested the 71-year-old former mayor of Ito City as a part of a bribery probe into a land purchase, reports NHK (June 17).
On multiple occasions in August and in September of 2015, Hiromi Tsukuda, then the mayor of Ito, allegedly received a total of around 10 million yen in bribes paid in cash from real estate firm Towa Kaihatsu.
The money was handed over in return for the acquisition by the government of the site of a former hotel from the firm at an inflated price, according to police.
In 2014, Towa Kaihatsu purchased the 4,000-square-meter site for around 50 million yen. The government then bought the land for about 200 million yen from the firm in 2015.
Police also arrested Keijiro Mori, the president 47-year-old of Towa Kaihatsu, and employee Hiroshi Inaba, 50, in the case.
Police did not reveal whether the suspects admit to the allegations. However, Tsukuda said in an interview with Nippon News Network before his arrest that he denied wrongdoing. “I only received back money that I had lent [previously],” he was quoted.