Tokyo Women’s Medical University Raided in Connection with Aggravated Breach of Trust

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Metropolitan Police Department investigators enter Tokyo Women’s Medical University in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, on Friday morning.

Police on Friday simultaneously raided a dozen locations including the headquarters of Tokyo Women’s Medical University (TWMU) in connection with an allegation that a former employee of the university’s alumni association had illegally received salary totaling about \20 million although she was not actually working.

The Metropolitan Police Department searched the TWMU headquarters in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, the home of TWMU Chancellor Kinuko Iwamoto, 77, and other places on suspicion of aggravated breach of trust under the General Incorporated Associations and General Incorporated Foundations Law.

The former employee, in her 50s, was Iwamoto’s close associate, and the MPD intends to clarify the circumstances surrounding the payments.

According to investigators, those who have been accused of breach of trust are the female former employee and a male former manager, also in his 50s, of Shiseikai Daini Hospital in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward. The hospital is run by TWMU’s alumni association and general incorporated association, Shiseikai.

The woman used to work at an obstetrics and gynecology clinic run by Iwamoto in Tokyo’s Edogawa Ward before starting to work as a section chief at the hospital in April 2015. She was then transferred to TWMU to become the deputy director of its business management department, which was under Iwamoto’s direct control, and had received a salary from the university through Shiseikai.

In April 2020, TWMU outsourced the department’s operations to a consulting firm in Setagaya Ward. The woman, as an employee of this firm, was paid a total salary of about \33 million from May 2020 to June 2022, while also receiving the salary of \20 million from May 2020 to March 2022 from Shiseikai.

The woman did not actually work at the hospital, and the MPD suspects that she conspired with the male former manager, who was managing employees’ salaries, to have Shiseikai improperly pay her.

In March last year, some alumni filed a criminal complaint against Iwamoto with the MPD on suspicion of breach of trust, alleging that she signed the outsourcing contract with the consulting firm without the approval of the university’s board.

Iwamoto served as the chairperson of Shiseikai’s board between June 2013 and April last year.

In October, Shiseikai filed a lawsuit against Iwamoto, the woman and the male manager, claiming that the remuneration paid by Shiseikai to the three was unfair and seeking a total of \144 million in compensation for damages.

According to its website, Shiseikai is organized by TWMU graduates, with about 4,500 members as of the end of June last year. It operates a hospital and a nursing school.

Following the MPD search, TWMU spokesperson said, “We will confirm the facts as soon as possible and cooperate fully with the police investigation.”

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Tokyo Women’s Medical University in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo.