• Kyodo

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A secretary to former Defense Agency chief Gen Nakatani had been running a bar in the city of Kochi under the name of an acquaintance and had hired foreign women to work as hostesses without the proper visa status, it was learned Monday.

Police turned their case against the aide, the senior of the politician’s two secretaries whose salaries are paid by the state, and four others over to prosecutors the same day. They are suspected of violating the law regulating adult entertainment businesses as well as the immigration control law.

According to police, the 51-year-old secretary and a 57-year-old municipal assemblyman of the city of Nankoku in the prefecture together put up the capital to start the business at the suggestion of Masaharu Ujike, an operator of an adult entertainment establishment who has been arrested and charged with bribing a former Kochi Prefectural Police sergeant.

It is illegal for owners of adult entertainment businesses to use someone else’s name when registering for a license. However, the pair used the name of a 51-year-old company employee to receive approval to open the bar in the city of Kochi from the prefecture’s public safety commission, according to police.

Investigators added that between last October and December, they hired a total of eight Chinese and Filipino women to work as hostesses even though the women’s visas did not allow them to engage in such work.

The bar opened last August but closed at the end of the year, and the aide has already submitted his resignation to Nakatani, a member of the House of Representatives from the Kochi No. 2 constituency. Nakatani officially dismissed the secretary Monday.

The allegations came to light during an investigation into the bribery case involving Ujike and the former police sergeant. In that case, the officer allegedly passed on investigative information to Ujike in return for being entertained by him.

Police said Nakatani’s aide has owned up to the misdeeds, saying he had wanted money to spend freely. Sources said the bar did not generate enough profit to cover the startup capital.

The aide was in charge of handling the lawmaker’s Nankoku constituency affairs.

On Monday, Nakatani said the incident was very regrettable, as he had trusted the aide, who had worked for him from the time before he was elected to the Lower House.

Nakatani said the aide told him of the wrongdoing Sunday and submitted his resignation, which was immediately accepted.

“Although it is a private matter, I feel responsible for failing to sufficiently supervise” the aide, he said.

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