Bribes Given to Arrested Education Ministry Exec Include Taxi Tickets


Tokyo, July 28 (Jiji Press)--Kazuaki Kawabata, an education and science ministry official arrested by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office on Thursday for alleged bribe-taking, is suspected of receiving taxi tickets, in addition to being wined and dined, informed sources said Saturday.

The prosecutors suspect that Kawabata, 57, who was director-general for international affairs at the ministry when arrested, accepted 1.4 million yen in the form of wining and dining between August 2015 and March 2017 from then consulting firm executive Koji Taniguchi, 47, who was arrested on bribe-giving charges.

The alleged bribery case took place when Kawabata was on loan at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA.

According to the sources, Taniguchi has already admitted to wining and dining Kawabata at such locations as a high-end club in Tokyo's posh Ginza district and a "yakitori" grilled chicken restaurant. The prosecutors suspect that Taniguchi received favorable treatment from the then JAXA vice president in exchange.

The tickets to pay for taxis home are believed to have been given to Kawabata on the occasions of wining and dining, and the prosecutors see a possibility that he asked for the tickets, the sources noted.

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Jiji Press