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Police on Monday searched the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building in Shinjuku Ward over the arrests the previous day of an official and a construction company executive on bribery charges related to repairs on Miyake Island.

Some 15 Metropolitan Police Department officers raided the Construction Bureau on the 22nd floor of City Hall where the suspect, Susumu Hara, 49, works. They examined documents to substantiate their charges against those arrested.

The island is in the metropolitan government’s jurisdiction.

Hara, 49, of Niiza, Saitama Prefecture, was arrested Sunday on suspicion of receiving 3 million yen in payoffs from a construction material company connected with erosion control work on Miyake Island on three occasions between last November and March, police said. The island’s residents were evacuated last year due to volcanic activity.

Police also arrested Yoshio Takatsuji, 59, of Tokyo, a director of Tokyo-based Kyosei Kiko, on suspicion of paying Hara the bribes.

Both Hara and Takatsuji basically owned up to the allegations, police said.

Hara was in charge of drafting erosion control measures on Miyake Island since October 2000 and was in a position to give advice to officials from Miyake Island.

Hara reportedly told investigators he has debts of some 10 million yen to consumer loan firms and needed the money.

Kyosei Kiko has supplied the metropolitan government with some 400 million yen worth of construction material for nine projects on the island since February, sources said.

Kyosei Kiko, set up in 1980, is capitalized at 288 million yen and has about 120 employees. It posted 6.6 billion yen in sales for the business year to June 2000.

In September 2000, all 3,800 residents of Miyake Island were evacuated due to volcanic activity that included large-scale eruptions and pyroclastic flows. The island in the Izu chain is some 200 km south of Tokyo.

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