• Kyodo

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A private four-year vocational college whose establishment was promoted by KSD, a scandal-tainted mutual aid foundation, opened Friday.

A welcoming ceremony was held for the college’s first students at its campus in Gyoda, Saitama Prefecture.

The Institute of Technologists is the brainchild of Tadao Koseki, 79, the founder of KSD, which provides industrial insurance coverage to owners of small businesses. Koseki has been indicted on charges that include bribing politicians in an apparent bid to secure government approval for the institute’s establishment and government funds to set it up.

Institute officials had expressed concern that the scandal could generate negative publicity and could result in fewer people applying to gain entry to the college than expected. Some 580 people applied for admission, however, exceeding the intake quota of 360 comfortably.

The officials said 358 students, including 33 women, have been admitted to the departments of Manufacturing Technologists and Building Technologists at the institute. These departments aim to provide training in skills such as computer-aided design, timber construction and mechanical work.

The government approved the opening of the institute in December on condition that it sever ties with KSD and the affiliate that promoted the establishment of the institute.

The Japanese name for this affiliate is Monotsukuri Daigaku.

The KSD scandal saw Takao Koyama, a Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker, arrested in January and Masakuni Murakami, another LDP lawmaker, arrested in March, both on suspicion of accepting bribes from Koseki.

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