Two senior Finance Ministry officials who resigned in connection with a wining-and-dining scandal have applied for and been granted retirement allowances reduced below standard levels, Finance Minister Hikaru Matsunaga said Tuesday.

Atsushi Nagano, who had been a director general of the Securities Bureau, offered to have his retirement money cut by 30 percent, while Takashi Sugii, who held a similar post in the Banking Bureau, offered a 20 percent reduction, according to Matsunaga.

Both resigned on April 27 after being punished under the National Public Service Law for being lavishly entertained by financial institutions. As penalties, Nagano received a 20 percent salary cut over six months and Sugii was given a four-month suspension.

The government must pay the full amount of the retirement allowance within a month after resignation. But ministry officials and friends of the two former bureaucrats apparently advised them not to accept the full amount, Matsunaga told a regular news conference.

Matsunaga said he had hoped they would voluntarily take appropriate action, but had not pressured them to do so. Nagano and Sugii conveyed their intention to the minister Monday afternoon, he added.

In consideration of their privacy, Matsunaga did not disclose the amount the two received in retirement funds. But the full amount Nagano received may be 30 million yen, while Sugii’s retirement package may have been 25 million yen, according to one estimate.

They were sent their reduced retirement allowance in a bank transmission Tuesday, a ministry official said.

Seiichiro Sato, a former Insurance Division employee who resigned last month, has meanwhile offered to give up all of his retirement allowance, Matsunaga said.

Sato was found to be the most heavily entertained official, having been wined and dined more than 50 times by one life insurance firm alone. The ministry could not punish him directly, however, because until recently he had been on loan to the Aichi Prefectural Government.

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.