Ex-Miyakojima mayor arrested for suspected bribery

NHK -- May 14
Japanese police have arrested a former mayor of an island city in Okinawa Prefecture on suspicion of taking a bribe in connection with a land sale for a Ground Self-Defense Force camp.

Police on Wednesday arrested former Miyakojima City Mayor Shimoji Toshihiko, along with his acquaintance, Shimoji Fujiyasu, a company executive.

Police suspect the mayor received 6.5 million yen, or about 59,000 dollars, from the acquaintance in 2018.

The police say this was in return for helping the acquaintance to sell a golf course he operated on Miyakojima Island to the Defense Ministry.

Police have not made clear whether the two suspects have admitted to the allegations.

Mayor Shimoji announced in 2016 that he would accept the planned deployment of Ground Self-Defense Force units on the island.

Two land plots, including the golf course, were considered as candidate sites at that time.

The mayor refused to accept a plan to use the other plot for constructing Self-Defense Force facilities, citing the possible contamination of ground water.

- NHK