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Finance Minister Hikaru Matsunaga on April 30 told the Diet that two former top ministry officials who resigned in disgrace Monday will each receive more than 40 million yen as a retirement allowance.

Atsushi Nagano, former director general of the Securities Bureau, and Takashi Sugii, former deputy director general of the Banking Bureau, resigned after being reprimanded under the National Civil Service Law for being excessively wined and dined.

The law entitles the two to the allowance because they resigned voluntarily, Matsunaga said, adding that they can refuse to accept it. Matsunaga made the remarks at a House of Representatives plenary session in response to questions from Koki Ishii of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan.

Ishii pointed out that using money from state coffers to pay the allowances goes against public sentiment. Nagano, 54, received a 20 percent pay cut for six months, while Sugii, 51, was given a four-month pay suspension for being excessively wined and dined by financial institutions. Under pressure from Matsunaga, both decided to retire.

The punitive actions were taken after a ministry in-house investigation conducted in the wake of scandals involving officials from the ministry, banks and securities firms. Ishii demanded that the ministry conduct another investigation to determine whether more ministry officials were excessively entertained by private firms in other industries. Matsunaga replied that the ministry will do so if another scandal comes to light.

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