Finance Minister Hikaru Matsunaga said Thursday that he is ashamed of the arrests of two more bureaucrats and promised to hand out stiff administrative punishments to them and their superiors if the allegations prove to be true.

Takashi Sakakibara, 38, deputy director of the Securities Bureau’s coordination division, and Toshio Miyano, 51, a senior inspector for securities and exchange at the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission, were arrested earlier in the day on suspicion of taking bribes from financial firms. “I take the situation very seriously,” Matsunaga said in apologizing to the day’s session of the House of Representatives Budget Committee after the men were arrested.

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