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Police searched City Hall in Nihommatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, and several other locations Sunday in connection with a bribery probe involving allegations that the mayor gave favors to a crematory construction company in exchange for money.

Tokyo and Fukushima Prefectural police suspect that Nihommatsu Mayor Hisayoshi Nemoto, 61, demanded money in return for securing a crematory contract for the Tokyo-based company. Nemoto was arrested Saturday for allegedly receiving bribes.

He has denied any wrongdoing, claiming he borrowed the money, but police quoted the 36-year-old head of the firm as having given Nemoto a payoff. The statue of limitations for the company head has already expired.

Police alleged that Nemoto received several million yen in a meeting at a cafe in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, around November 1998, in exchange for securing a contract for the company to build a crematory at a funeral hall in Nihommatsu.

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