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Another money scandal involving a Foreign Ministry official surfaced Monday, as the ministry announced that a diplomat at its embassy in Palau misappropriated about $10,000 in public money for his personal use.

Fumiyoshi Miyazaki, 31, who was in charge of the embassy’s accounting, withdrew cash from the embassy’s account and used the money for purchasing his personal flight tickets and for eating out, Deputy Vice Foreign Minister Kyoji Komachi told a news conference.

Komachi said that when Miyazaki made an accounting report to his superior, Keiichi Hasegawa, in October 2000, Hasegawa found that the accounting book was $14,300 short of what the balance should have been.

Of that amount, Miyazaki used about $10,000 for personal purposes, and the rest was unaccounted for due to Miyazaki’s loss of receipts to back up claims of spending it for official uses, Komachi said.

The ministry ordered a one-year suspension for Miyazaki and reprimanded Hasegawa and Ambassador to Palau Hisato Murayama, all effective Aug. 1.

But the ministry did not disclose the incident until Monday. Komachi explained that there were voices within the ministry urging not to disclose it, considering that Miyazaki is young, has a future career ahead of him and deeply regrets his conduct. Miyazaki has also returned all the $14,300.

“Announcing it today, (instead of Aug. 1) was not appropriate,” said Komachi, who took his post Friday in the major personnel reshuffle. “We apologize for another incident of misappropriation . . . and we also apologize for the delay in the announcement,” he said.

Komachi added that senior officials including Minister Yutaka Kawashima were consulting with Senior Vice Foreign Minister Seiken Sugiura about how to deal with the matter, but did not report to Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka until Monday morning. He declined to explain why the foreign minister was not told about it.

Vice Foreign Minister Yoshiji Nogami, who is also new to his post, told a separate news conference that he decided to disclose the wrongdoing in view of the ministry’s accountability to the public.

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