Top Tokyo prosecutor with close ties to Abe resigns after gambling exposé
Japan Times -- May 22
The head of the Tokyo High Public Prosecutor's Office, who has been the focus of intense scrutiny over his close relationship with the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, submitted his resignation Thursday following a report that he had participated in a game of mahjong while gambling with newspaper employees.

Hiromu Kurokawa, 63, bet money while playing the game with two reporters from the right-leaning Sankei newspaper and one former reporter with the left-leaning Asahi newspaper for several hours on May 1 and 13, according to a report in the Shukan Bunshun magazine published Thursday.

Justice Minister Masako Mori told reporters Thursday that the ministry confirmed the report.

“This kind of behavior is nothing but inappropriate and it is deeply regrettable,” Mori said.

According to the report, they met at the apartment of one of the Sankei reporters in Tokyo — even though the government has been urging residents to avoid nonessential outings under the coronavirus state of emergency.

The meetings also took place as the ruling party was preparing a highly contentious bill that would have cleared the way for Kurokawa to become the nation’s highest-ranking public prosecutor.

The revelation marks the latest controversy surrounding Kurokawa, who has been seen as having a close relationship with the Abe administration. Even worse, the resignation carries more significant and inevitable political repercussions for the administration, which has already been criticized over its coronavirus response.

The magazine report said Kurokawa had used a hired car provided by the Sankei newspaper, which could also be a public servant ethics violation.

Neither of the newspapers has disclosed the names of their implicated staff members, but the magazine report described the Sankei reporters as covering courts and legal affairs, and the former Asahi reporter, who now works in a noneditorial division, as having covered the public prosecutors’ office.

東京高検の黒川弘務検事長は賭け麻雀をしていたことを認め、21日に安倍総理大臣宛てに辞職願を提出しました。22日の閣議で辞職が承認される見通しです。  森法務大臣:「誠に不適切というほかなく、極めて遺憾です。監督上の処分として訓告としました。黒川検事長の勤務延長の閣議請議をしたのは私ですので、責任を痛感しております」  法務省は21日、東京高検の黒川検事長が緊急事態宣言のさなかの1日と13日の2回、新聞記者らと賭け麻雀をしていたことが分かったとして訓告処分にしたと発表しました。黒川検事長は安倍総理宛てに辞職願を提出し、「緊急事態宣言下における私の行動は緊張感に欠け、軽率にすぎるものであり、猛省しています」などとコメントしました。政府は22日の閣議で黒川検事長の辞職を承認する見通しです。
News sources: Japan Times, ANNnewsCH
Jul 10
The number of new daily coronavirus infections in Tokyo hit a single-day record of 224 on Thursday, the metropolitan government said. (Japan Today)
Jul 10
Officials of Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward say they will offer 100,000 yen, or about 930 dollars, to residents infected with the coronavirus. (NHK)
Jul 10
A 24-year-old woman in custody after she caused the death of her 3-year-old daughter by leaving her alone at their residence for more than one week barricaded her inside with furniture, police have revealed, reports Fuji News Network (July 9). (tokyoreporter.com)
Jul 10
Japan will tighten its criteria for supporting exports of coal-fired power plants amid criticism that the practice goes against global efforts to curb global warming. (Japan Times)
Jul 10
The tourism industry in Japan came to a screeching halt earlier this year with the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, as pretty much the whole country stayed home for both cherry blossom season and the Golden Week vacation period, two of the spring’s busiest travel periods. (soranews24.com)
Jul 10
The Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic organizing committee will issue ticket refunds to people unable to attend the games due to their one-year postponement, sources close to the matter said Thursday. (Japan Times)
Jul 09
Pounding rain that already caused deadly floods in southern Japan was moving northeast Wednesday, battering large areas of Japan's main island, swelling more rivers, triggering mudslides and destroying houses and roads. At least 58 people have died in several days of flooding. (Japan Today)
Jul 09
Struggling businesses and other clients have left Japanese banks with record outstanding loans for a third straight month. (NHK)
Jul 09
Carlos Ghosn, the former Nissan Motor Co chairman, wired $862,500 last year to a company managed by one of the two men who later helped him escape from Japan, U.S. prosecutors said in a Tuesday court filing. (Japan Today)
Jul 08
In a move that will affect Japanese studying in the U.S., the government there said Monday that international students attending American universities will have to depart the country or transition to another college if their classes are moved entirely online for the fall semester amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Japan Times)