Tokyo, May 21 (efe-epa).- The chief prosecutor of the Tokyo district, Hiromu Kurokawa, resigned today after allegations emerged about two days of gambling in which he participated betting with money, in the middle of the state of emergency, official sources reported.
Kurokawa, who is in charge of the Tokyo Superior Prosecutor’s Office, was seen as a figure very close to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and a possible successor to the attorney general, Nobuo Inada, who will leave his post in July.
In statements to journalists, the Minister of Justice, Masako Mori, confirmed that the chief prosecutor had participated in two days of mahjong, betting with money, on May 1 and 13, in a game room.
Illegal gambling is banned in Japan, and the authorities are also campaigning for people to stay home to prevent a further spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Minister of Justice described the attitude of the prosecutor Kurokawa as “really inappropriate and extremely regrettable” among other reasons because he participated in the games in the midst of a state of emergency.
“Based on these facts, Kurokawa was warned, and a while ago he resigned, and will be accepted at the cabinet meeting tomorrow,” the ministers told reporters after meeting at home with the prosecutor at the center of the controversy.
Abe, for his part, told reporters that he had spoken to the minister and had agreed to accept the resignation.
Kurokawa participated in those two mahjong nights with representatives of two media outlets, the Sankei and Asahi newspapers, as rivals, but the first complaints about these games were made by another means, the weekly Shukan Bunshun.
The now-resigned prosecutor had been attracting public intent because Abe wanted to extend the prosecutors’ retirement age beyond 63 to 65, to, according to opposition politicians, benefit Kurokawa and pave his way to the Attorney General’s Office.
In fact, Kurokawa enjoyed an official dispensation from the government last January to be able to continue in his post despite having reached the retirement age. EFE-EPA