The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry has decided to demand that Kunio Takaishi, a former vice education minister who was convicted of bribery, return his retirement payment, ministry sources said Saturday.

The move came after the Supreme Court dismissed his appeal Oct. 23 against a Tokyo High Court ruling, finalizing a high court decision that sentenced him to a 30-month prison term, suspended for four years, and a fine of 22.7 million yen.

Takaishi, 72, received about 60 million yen in retirement pay when he left the former Education Ministry in June 1988. The ministry will ask Takaishi to pay back the sum, excluding tax payments on the retirement pay, in the near future.

Takaishi was convicted in connection with the 1980s stocks-for-favors bribery scandal over the sale of unlisted shares of Recruit Cosmos Co.

Twenty people were indicted in the scandal and 11 of them were convicted, including Takaishi and former Chief Cabinet Secretary Takao Fujinami. The scandal triggered the collapse in 1989 of the administration of the late Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita.

The Tokyo District Court is scheduled to hand down a ruling on Hiromasa Ezoe, founder and former chairman of publisher Recruit Co., in March 2003.

Ezoe is the last person on trial in the so-called Recruit scandal. He has pleaded not guilty to giving bribes in return for favors.

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