Tags: Japan | Politics

Japan Officials Punished in Scandal Linked to PM Son's Firm

Wednesday, 24 February 2021 07:00 AM

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s communications ministry punished 11 senior officials on Wednesday for accepting lavish dinners paid for by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s eldest son and his fellow executives at a satellite broadcaster, the latest embarrassment for Suga’s already scandal-laden government.

The case surfaced after weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun reported recently that Seigo Suga and other executives from the satellite broadcaster Tohokushinsha Film had entertained the officials at the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, which regulates communications business.

On Wednesday, the ministry announced penalties including salary cuts and reprimands for the 11 ministry officials for accepting the expensive dinners and gifts in violation of the ethics code.

Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Ryota Takeda told a news conference that it was regrettable that the case led to the loss of public trust in the government. Takeda said he is taking a three-month salary cut himself and ordered the ministry to set up an investigative panel to look further into the case.

A ministry internal investigation has found that the ministry officials received dinners and gifts totaling about 600,000 yen ($5,700) on around 40 occasions from 2016 to 2019.

Suga apologized this week over his son’s entertaining of the officials. Suga, however, denied any involvement in his son’s business activity or knowledge of his entertaining of the ministry officials.

The National Public Service Ethics Law prohibits government officials from accepting treats, gifts or entertainment from individuals or companies seeking favorable treatment.

The scandal could be a further setback for the prime minister, whose approval ratings have been on the decline, with poll respondents saying he was too slow to act on coronavirus measures when infections were surging to new highs in late December.

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Japan's communications ministry punished 11 senior officials on Wednesday for accepting lavish dinners paid for by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's eldest son and his fellow executives at a satellite broadcaster, the latest embarrassment for Suga's already scandal-laden...
Japan,Politics
281
2021-00-24
Wednesday, 24 February 2021 07:00 AM
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