Suga Urges His 1st Son to Cooperate with Scandal Probe


Tokyo, Feb. 4 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Thursday that he has instructed his first son on the phone to cooperate with a possible investigation into a wining-and-dining scandal involving the 39-year-old son.

The scandal was initially reported by a weekly magazine. The report said that four senior Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry officials, including Yasuhiko Taniwaki, vice minister for policy coordination, were separately wined and dined by Suga's son, who works for Tokyo-based satellite broadcast-related firm Tohokushinsha Film Corp., at sushi or other restaurants between October and December last year and received taxi tickets from him, possibly in violation of the national public service ethics act.

The scandal is likely to deal another blow to the Suga administration after controversial visits late at night to hostess bars in Tokyo's upscale Ginza district by some ruling bloc members last month during the government-declared ongoing state of emergency over the coronavirus crisis, pundits said. The opposition camp is set to grill the administration over the fresh scandal.

The ministry has authority to give satellite television broadcasting licenses. The son served as secretary to Suga when he was internal affairs and communications minister.

The behavior by the four ministry officials may have amounted to acts of receiving entertainment, or money or goods from interested parties, which are banned by ethics rules under the national civil service ethics act, sources familiar with the situation said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press