Former Economic Revitalization Minister Akira Amari, 66, returned to the Diet on Aug. 1 for the first time after he resigned from the cabinet over a bribery scandal. He attended the House of Representatives plenary session and told reporters afterward: “A decision was made to drop my case, so this issue has been settled,” thus indicating his intent to resume full-fledged political activities.
Since his resignation in late January, Amari had not attended any Diet sessions for over six months on account of a “sleep disorder.” During this period, the Tokyo District Prosecutors’ Office decided not to indict Amari and two former secretaries for violating the law on profiting from influence peddling.
Amari said on Aug. 1: “The incident came as a complete surprise.” He added: “Although I believe that the facts I have been stating have been accepted, I damaged the trust I have built over the years. I would like to work even harder for the people from now on.”
The opposition parties are demanding that Amari be summoned to testify in the Diet on this case. (Slightly abridged)