Global Policy Forum

Corruption in Japan's Civil Service

Associated Press
March 28, 2000

Police on Monday said they arrested a career bureaucrat on bribery charges, alleging he accepted almost $18,700 in entertainment from an agricultural cooperative in return for helping it to secure government subsidies. The allegations will likely come as another blow to the image of Japan's career civil service, shaken in recent years by a series of bribery scandals. Scandals involving the police and military have also surfaced in recent months.

Police arrested 44-year old Kinya Kiyomizu, a bureaucrat at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and two officials of a cooperative in northern Japan who are suspected of bribing him. In 1997, Kiyomizu charged $17,700 worth of expenses at exclusive Tokyo clubs to a cooperative in Kagawa prefecture (state), said a spokeswoman for the Tokyo police on condition of anonymity.

The Shikoku Okawa cooperative allegedly picked up Kiyomizu's tab after he used his influence the previous year to help it secure funds under a government project to promote farm products, she said. Police on Monday also arrested Yoshinobu Hirose, 70, the head of the Shikoku Okawa cooperative, and Taishi Yamashita, 56, secretary-general of a cooperative affiliate, on suspicion of bribery. Kiyomizu is the second agriculture official to be arrested in the case.


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