The former chief of the Defense Agency secretariat discarded documents linked to the procurement scandal at his home before prosecutors raided the agency on Sept. 3, Masahiro Akiyama, administrative vice minister of the agency, admitted Monday.Denying earlier news reports that Masayuki Fujishima, 55, who was demoted from chief of the secretariat post last Tuesday, might have burned some documents at his home, Akiyama said Fujishima has simply told the agency he “discarded photocopies of the documents, not the original documents.”Fujishima, however, has not made clear where the originals are, according to Akiyama. The discarded papers included copies of those detailing hearings that agency officials conducted with the staffers who had been questioned by prosecutors in connection with the scandal over the overcharging of agency procurements.Sources say the in-house hearings had been carried out before the raid in order for the agency to prepare countermeasures against the prosecutors’ investigation.The hearing results, dubbed inside the agency as The Blue Files, were compiled mainly by Hiroshi Ishizuki, former deputy chief at the agency’s Central Procurement Office, the sources say.Ishizuki was also demoted from the position together with Fujishima last week. The two currently work at the secretariat without titles. “I understand that (Fujishima) discarded the papers,” Akiyama said. “I also often take home photocopies of agency documents to take a closer look and shred them and discard them after reading. It’s not a rare case.”
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