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NTT East official held over bribery

Kyodo

Prosecutors arrested an official of NTT East Corp. on Thursday for allegedly taking ¥17 million in bribes from an on-demand video service company in return for business orders, the prosecutors said.

He was identified as Hirokazu Ishikawa, 48, a resident of Setagaya Ward, Tokyo, who was arrested for allegedly violating the NTT law, which bans NTT employees from accepting bribes.

A team of investigators at the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office also arrested Hiroshi Asamizu, 52, the former president of the video-on-demand company named Bridge Motion Tomorrow Co., on suspicion of providing the bribes.

The prosecutors said Ishikawa accepted a bank card for an account with around ¥12.8 million in August 2011 from Asamizu, a resident of Inagi, western Tokyo. The video service company allegedly later transferred another ¥4.2 million into the account.

The 1984 NTT law sets imprisonment of up to three years for NTT employees who accept bribes in connection with their duties.

The National Tax Agency has filed a complaint against the video service company and Asamizu for failing to declare ¥35 million in income. Prosecutors suspect Asamizu used some of the undeclared sum as bribes to Ishikawa, investigative sources said.

After leaving the government-run Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Public Corp., the predecessor of NTT Corp., Asamizu became president of the video service company in 2005 and resigned as its head in June 2012.