Probe Panel May Not Point to Survey Misconduct Cover-up by Ministry

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Feb. 25 (Jiji Press)--A third-party panel investigating irregularities in a key labor ministry survey finds it difficult to determine that the ministry made an organizational attempt to cover them up, informed sources said Monday.

On Jan. 22, only several days after its launch, the special inspection committee released a report on its probe and denied the ministry's cover-up of sloppy survey methods.

During the initial investigation, 37 officials involved were interviewed. Panel members, however, interviewed only 12 people, while the 25 others were questioned by colleagues in the ministry.

Faced with criticism that it was a probe by not a third party but cronies, the panel reinitiated its investigation and has interviewed 59 people including former officials to date. Its report on the reinvestigation is expected to come out this week.

The initial report pointed out that a senior ministry official was informed by a subordinate in late fiscal 2017 of misconduct over the nationwide labor survey.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press