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Former Construction Minister Eiichi Nakao was arrested Friday on suspicion of accepting some 30 million yen in bribes in 1996 in connection with the Construction Ministry’s selection of designated bidding companies.

Investigators from the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office arrested the 70-year-old Liberal Democratic Party member for allegedly taking bribes from the chairman of Tokyo-based Wakachiku Construction Co.

Nakao, who has also served as international trade and industry minister and head of the Economic Planning Agency, failed to win re-election from the Yamanashi No. 1 constituency in Sunday’s general election.

Sources close to the case added that it was Heo Young Joong, a former real estate developer who is currently on trial accused of causing financial damage to trading firm Itoman Corp, who brought Nakao and the Wakachiku Kensetsu chairman together.

The chairman of Wakachiku Construction has not been arrested as the statute of limitations on the giving of the bribes has expired, the sources said.