The Transport Ministry will investigate whether officials of Japanese National Railways Settlements Corp. leaked information to Obayashi Corp., a major general contractor, prior to bidding on property holdings, Transport Minister Jiro Kawasaki said Tuesday.”We will look into the matter instead of leaving it only to JNR Settlements Corp. The focus of the probe will be whether officials leaked classified information and if the alleged leakage affected the outcome of the bidding in an adverse way to the interests of JNR Settlements Corp.,” Kawasaki said.The leaked information reportedly includes a list of participant firms in the bidding as well as bidders’ proposals. The alleged leakage possibly violates civil servants’ duty to protect classified information that is stipulated by a law concerning JNR Settlements Corp., a semigovernmental body, according to a Transport Ministry official.The Upper House is debating bills to dispose of the 27.8 trillion yen in JNR debts. If the bills clear the Diet, JNR Settlements Corp. is expected to be dissolved and taken over by the Japan Railway Construction Public Corp.

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