Osamu Tsutsumi, a University of Tokyo professor who served as the primary physician for Crown Princess Masako until June, may face further penalties because a university panel found that he made a false application for 20 million yen in donations, according to sources.
Tsutsumi was suspended by the university for one month in June for embezzling subsidies, in which he and his research group diverted 16.4 million yen from some 22.5 million yen in research subsidies over a five-year period to fiscal 2002.
In light of the new findings, the university plans to consider a further penalty for Tsutsumi after professors at the medical faculty meet Wednesday, the sources said.
A severe penalty is expected as many believe Tsutsumi bears a heavy responsibility for damaging confidence in the school.
The Metropolitan Police Department has opened an investigation, suspecting Tsutsumi committed fraud and violated a law on subsidies.
In the latest revelation, the university panel found that Tsutsumi applied for 20 million yen from the Japan Owners’ Association, an organization that represents racehorse owners, by falsely claiming an April 2000 purchase of medical equipment, the sources told Kyodo News.
The association deposited the donations into the university’s account in November that year. But it was found that the six equipment items mentioned had in fact been provided by the government-affiliated Japan Science and Technology Corp. in 1999.
The money remains in the university’s bank account. Tsutsumi owned up to the false application to the association and proposed returning the money. He also asked the university to refund the amount, the sources said.
At the University of Tokyo, donations are managed by the university and are paid out to the professors at their request.
Tsutsumi was the physician in charge when Crown Princess Masako gave birth to a girl in December 2001. He resigned from his post at the Imperial Household Agency after he was suspended in June.
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