6 govt officials to take pay cuts for wining, dining scandal

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The education ministry on Friday announced punishments for six officials wined and dined by people linked to a scandal-hit association of private kindergartens.

The ministry launched a probe on July 15 after receiving information from police about officials entertained by association-linked people including a former head who had been arrested on suspicion of embezzling money from the group.

Education minister Keiko Nagaoka told a press conference that the problem is extremely regrettable and offered her apology. She said she will return one month’s pay. The six officials will take pay cuts for violating the law on national public servants and the code of ethics for them, the ministry said.

Deputy Minister Kazuhiko Yano will get a 10% cut for three months. Takashi Fuchigami, former deputy director general at a ministry bureau, and Mutsuko Inoue, director of the university-industry collaboration and regional research and development division, will each take a 20% cut for six months.