Ex-Science Ministry Official Indicted over JAXA Bribery Case

Society Politics

Tokyo, Aug. 15 (Jiji Press)--Former senior science ministry official Kazuaki Kawabata and former medical consulting firm executive Koji Taniguchi were indicted Wednesday in a bribery case tied to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA.

Kawabata, 57, former director-general for international affairs at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, is the second former ministry executive charged over a bribery case linked to Taniguchi, 47.

On July 24, public prosecutors indicted Taniguchi over another bribery case, involving Futoshi Sano, 59, former head of the Science and Technology Policy Bureau, as well as former Tokyo Medical University leaders.

The series of bribery scandals is expected to provoke calls for drastic measures to improve the ethical standards of the ministry's personnel.

In the JAXA case, Kawabata has broadly admitted to charges of taking bribes, while Taniguchi has denied the allegations against him, informed sources said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press