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32 Japan Ministry Officials Punished over Dining Scandals

32 Japan Ministry Officials Punished over Dining Scandals

   Tokyo, June 4 (Jiji Press)--Japan's communications ministry said Friday that nine officials will be subject to disciplinary measures, such as pay cuts, and 23 others will be reprimanded over a string of wining and dining scandals.
   The actions against the 32 people follow an investigation conducted by the ministry after it was revealed that senior ministry officials were treated to dinners by Tohokushinsha Film Corp. <2329> and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. <9432> in a way violating the ethics code for national civil servants.
   The probe covered about 170 officials who are or were in division chief-level or higher posts related to information and communications administration, finding 78 cases of dinners in violation of the ethics code.
   Meanwhile, a third-party investigation panel said that the integrity of the ministry's administration had been breached by the dining scandal involving Tohokushinsha, a satellite broadcasting company.
   It is highly likely that the ministry did not revoke the company's satellite broadcasting license despite recognizing its violation of a foreign ownership rule under the broadcasting law, the panel, headed by lawyer Genta Yoshino, said in a report, concluding that "the criticism that the ministry's administration had been distorted cannot be avoided."

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