A renowned medical professor at the University of Tokyo and his team mishandled more than 22 million yen of state subsidies, it was learned Saturday.
A university committee issued a report on the allegation, however, saying it could find no evidence that Osamu Tsutsumi, a gynecology professor, and his group used the money for private purposes.
Nonetheless, the committee said about 540,000 yen remains unaccounted for, due to a lack of receipts and other documents.
The university submitted the report Friday to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
It said a panel of professors from the school’s medical school will discuss the matter and decide on a punishment for Tsutsumi, 52.
“There was an improper use of money,” said Seigo Hirowatari, vice president of the university. “The responsibility of professor Tsutsumi, who was in the position to receive public research money, is enormous.”
According to the report, Tsutsumi, who also serves as Crown Princess Masako’s chief doctor, and the team “improperly handled” about 22.5 million yen in state research grants between fiscal 1998 and 2002.
The money was pooled in Tsutsumi’s personal bank accounts as gratuities and wages or in cash. About 16.4 million yen of the money was diverted to pay for personnel and classes not specified under the terms of the grants, the report said.
An education ministry official said the ministry will demand that the university repay the part of the grants not used to cover legitimate research.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.