Top Farm Bureaucrat Dined with Indicted Ex-Head of Egg Firm

Politics Society

Tokyo, Jan. 19 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese farm ministry's top bureaucrat attended a dinner meeting with a former egg production company head who has been indicted on bribery charges, farm minister Kotaro Nogami revealed at a press conference on Tuesday.

Including the top bureaucrat, Masaaki Edamoto, vice minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, a total of seven senior ministry officials had two dinner meetings with Yoshiki Akita, former head of the company, Akita Foods, based in Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture.

Edamoto was chief of the ministry's Agricultural Production Bureau at the time. The seven also include the current chief of the bureau, Masakazu Mizuta, and the then director-general of the Livestock Industry Department.

Last week, Akita was indicted for allegedly bribing former farm minister Takamori Yoshikawa, who was also indicted, for allegedly taking bribes.

According to the ministry, the officials did not cover the costs of the dinner meetings. They claim that they believed the dinner costs were to be shouldered by politicians who also participated in the dinner meetings.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press