Japan Highway Public Corp. President Haruho Fujii asked the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry on Tuesday to hold another hearing over his possible dismissal.

“As there were grave procedural defects regarding Friday’s hearing,” transport minister Nobuteru Ishihara’s decision to dismiss Fujii from his duties is “illegal,” a lawyer for Fujii said after submitting the request to the ministry.

But the ministry is unlikely to comply with the request because it believes Friday’s hearing fulfilled its purpose.

If the ministry fires Fujii without holding another hearing, “we will have no other choice but to resort to necessary legal action” to nullify Ishihara’s decision, the lawyer said.

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told reporters Tuesday in Bangkok that it was natural for Fujii to harbor such feelings and said he has told Ishihara to not consider the Nov. 9 general elections when making his decision.

“Time is also needed, not only a reason,” Koizumi said. “The issue will be settled as it should be. We don’t have to get into a rush over it.”

Fujii has been under fire for allegedly hiding a financial statement showing Japan Highway has a negative net worth.

Ishihara said there is no need to investigate Fujii’s allegation that some politicians were involved in shady deals related to the sale of government-owned land.

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