Education Minister Hagiuda fends off casino corruption allegations

Education Minister Koichi Hagiuda found himself the latest target of accusations of financial impropriety in relation to IR development.

The weekly magazine Shukan Shincho reported that while on a visit to Macau in August 2018, Hagiuda had accepted “super VIP treatment” from Galaxy Entertainment, Including a one-night stay at the luxurious Banyan Tree Macau hotel and a personal reception by a senior Galaxy executive who rode with him in a special car from the ferry to the hotel.

On Thursday in a House of Councillors committee meeting, an opposition lawmaker challenged Hagiuda about this media report. The minister argued that he did nothing wrong, that he paid all the hotel expenses, and the pick-up from his hotel was a free service.

Hagiuda suggested that he was considering legal action against the magazine.

Hagiuda is one of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s closest aides and one of the most outspoken advocates of IR development in Japan.