• Kyodo

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More than 1,000 postcards sent to a national newspaper for prize competitions were made available for an Internet auction, it was learned Sunday.

The postcards, mailed to the Mainichi Shimbun’s Chubu regional headquarters, have been removed from the Web site, newspaper officials said.

Postcards are said to have been displayed on an auction site run by Yahoo Japan Corp. by a family member of a late employee of the newspaper.

The postcards were sent to the paper for prize competitions between 1991 and 1993, and carry private information such as the names and addresses of those who sent them, the officials said.

It appears that the deceased employee, who was a stamp collector, took the cards home without informing the paper, the officials said. The employee retired in 1992.

His family members had told the paper that they wanted to get rid of the postcards because they were running out of space to keep them.

“It is a truly regrettable incident that mail that we should have strictly managed went out of our hands,” said a spokesman for the paper. “We are currently conducting an inspection in our company to see if there were similar cases.”

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