• SHARE

Prosecutors demanded Wednesday that the Tokyo District Court impose prison terms of between two and 3 1/2 years on a former top health ministry bureaucrat and two others being tried on bribery charges in connection with the construction of special subsidized nursing homes.

The prosecutors demanded a 3 1/2-year term for Nobuharu Okamitsu, 59, former vice minister of the Ministry of Health and Welfare; two years for Shigeharu Chatani, 40, another former health ministry official; and 2 1/2 years for Hiroshi Koyama, 53, former head of the Aya welfare business group.

In addition to the prison terms, the prosecutors demanded fines of 63.7 million yen for Okamitsu, 11.2 million yen for Chatani and 2 million yen for Koyama. The prosecutors said the three should be severely punished because the crime they committed seriously damaged public trust in public servants.

Okamitsu and Chatani allegedly received bribes totaling more than 70 million yen from Koyama in return for helping the group in the construction of nursing homes in Saitama Prefecture.

Okamitsu took a total of 60 million yen in bribes from Koyama in July and August 1994, when he was chief of the secretariat for the health minister, the prosecutors said. He received the money in return for using his influence to help Koyama obtain 4.6 billion yen in government subsidies for the construction of his nursing homes in Saitama Prefecture and other social welfare corporations, the prosecutors said.

Okamitsu also enjoyed free use of two cars, worth 5.69 million yen and provided by a company owned by Koyama, between June 1992 and March 1996, they said. Chatani, a former deputy division director of the ministry, allegedly received about 11 million yen in bribes from Koyama in August 1996 in return for similar favors while he was chief of the Saitama Prefectural Government section concerned with welfare for the elderly between April 1992 and March 1995.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW