June 22, 2018
Tokyo- Japan's farm ministry said Friday that it has dismissed an employee in a managerial post and suspended three others for leaking tender information on postdisaster reconstruction projects in the Tohoku northeastern region.
The ministry said the disciplinary action included dismissing the 59-year-old official and suspending the three officials in their 40s and 50s for either a month or six months.
It also barred construction company Fujita Corp., which obtained information from the officials, from bidding for ministry public works projects for a month.
The Japan Fair Trade Commission discovered this month that officials working at the ministry's Tohoku Regional Agricultural Administration Office had leaked information on bidding on reconstruction projects related to the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The FTC has called on the ministry to take appropriate action to prevent similar misconduct.
Of the four officials, one received a cash voucher worth 14,000 yen as remuneration for picking up and dropping off a former colleague who currently works at a construction company, according to the ministry's investigation. The two were playing golf at the time.
The ministry announced the same day preventive measures, including a special seminar for those planning to retire from the ministry to make sure they do not involve ministry employees in unwarranted lobbying activities.
It will also interview more than 3,000 employees engaged in bidding operations at regional agricultural administration offices throughout Japan. Jiji Press
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