TOKYO, 8 Mar – RIA Novosti. Another high-ranking official in Japan, believed to be closely associated with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, has been removed from office after accepting expensive food from business representatives, NHK reported.
According to him, the former Deputy Minister of National Affairs and Communications Yasuhiko Taniwaki was transferred to the ministry's secretariat on Monday for violating the law on ethics of civil servants, as he allegedly accepted treats from the management of the telecommunications corporation NTT.
According to Kyodo's news agency, from September 2018 to July 2020, Taniwaki dined three times at the expense of businessmen worth about 107,000 yen (about $ 1,000).
This scandal became known last week, when it was reported about Taniwaki's participation in the preparation of Prime Minister Sugi's plan to reduce tariffs for mobile communications in Japan, which are considered one of the highest in the world.
Together with a dozen other officials, Taniwaki was convicted of breaking the law when they all dined at the expense of Tohokushinsha Film, in which the prime minister's son Sugi holds a high position.
Minister of National Affairs and Communications Ryota Takeda regretted Taniwaki's new violation of the law.
“It is extremely regrettable that this happened again and violated public confidence in the civil service. I deeply apologize for this,” Takeda told reporters.
According to the Ethics Law for Public Officials in Japan, an official must notify his department in advance if his treats exceed the amount of 10,000 yen (about $ 100).
The investigation also established earlier that Eiji Makiguchi, director of the ministry's global strategy department, and Makiko Yamada, Japanese cabinet spokesman, also received treats from the NTT leadership. Although they claimed to have paid for the food at the restaurant themselves, the investigation revealed that the food was worth more than what they had to pay.
Yamada resigned last week.