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Kanagawa Prefectural Police suspended a 58-year-old inspector Friday for allegedly covering up the case of three police officers paying for sex with minors in 1994.

Kanagawa police suspended Tadao Masuda, a section chief at a local police station in Isehara in the prefecture, for one month and sent investigation documents on his case to prosecutors.

Masuda has already tendered his resignation, which is expected to be officially approved today.

Even though Masuda himself confessed to his superiors about the coverup in January, the prefectural police did not publicly disclose the case for seven months.

The scandal comes just two years after the Kanagawa Prefectural Police was accused of a coverup of an officer’s illegal drug. In that scandal, Motoo Watanabe, former chief of the Kanagawa police, was given a suspended 18-month term last year for leading an organized coverup scheme.

While investigating a child prostitution case at the Odawara police station in western Kanagawa, Masuda found that three incumbent police officers were customers of the prostitution ring, according to police.

However, he kept this under wraps and carried relevant documents with him when he was later transferred to another police station in the prefecture.

The then chief and deputy chief of the Odawara station approved Masuda’s decision, Kanagawa police said. Although their actions were criminally punishable, the statute of limitations on the case expired in 1997.

The three officers, including a then 44-year-old sergeant at the Atsugi police station, allegedly had sex with a 14-year-old schoolgirl at a motel on three occasions in 1993 and 1994.

After Masuda’s confession in January, the three officers voluntarily resigned in April after receiving pay cuts.

Cabaret cop busted

SHIZUOKA (Kyodo) Police have arrested a Shizuoka Prefectural Police assistant inspector on suspicion of illegally employing Filipino women at a cabaret he runs with another man in the prefecture, police officials said Friday.

Hiroshi Osumi, 50, was arrested along with Shinya Suzuki, 54, joint owner of the cabaret Super Woman in Hamamatsu, on suspicion of violating the Immigration Control Act and assisting the women to work illegally.

Investigators alleged that the two men hired Filipino women as hostesses at their cabaret on July 31, despite knowing the women had entered Japan without passports.

While Suzuki was the nominal owner of the cabaret, police believe Osumi was deeply involved in the running of the club because the hostesses referred to him as “boss.”

The case came to light earlier this year when an unnamed person wrote to the prefectural force to report that Osumi had received cash and goods from Suzuki. Police then began to monitor Osumi’s actions.

They later discovered that Osumi frequented the cabaret, which opened in May.

Osumi joined the force in 1969 and has been honored with numerous awards presented by the director of the police headquarters in recognition of his work.

Police also obtained an arrest warrant for another man believed to have been involved in the cabaret. The man has not yet been arrested.

Police also arrested 17 Filipino women on suspicion of entering Japan without passports.

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