Transport minister Nobuteru Ishihara was set to sack Japan Highway Public Corp. President Haruho Fujii as early as Friday, having received a set of reports from his ministry on a hearing held last week as part of the dismissal process.

Ishihara received the reports Thursday from Shigetaro Yamamoto, a director general for policy planning at the ministry who presided over the nine-hour Oct. 17 hearing.

They consist of opinions from ministry bureaucrats and the minutes of the hearing.

Ishihara, minister of land, infrastructure and transport, said he would make the final decision to fire Fujii after examining the reports.

Ministry officials said the decision could come at any moment.

Once Fujii is actually axed, his post will be taken over by Japan Highway Vice President Koichi Murase on an interim basis, in accordance with the law governing the semigovernmental corporation.

In the meantime, the ministry will set about singling out Fujii’s successor from the private sector.

Yamamoto compiled the reports following the one-day hearing, despite Fujii’s demand that the ministry hold another to give him another opportunity to present his case.

If Ishihara dismisses Fujii as expected, Fujii’s side is likely to lodge an administrative litigation to invalidate his dismissal.

Fujii’s attorneys have also expressed intent to file libel suits against Ishihara and Shinzo Abe, secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party, for calling him a liar in public.

The hearing was held in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Law following Fujii’s refusal to comply with Ishihara’s order to step down earlier this month.

Ishihara claims that Fujii lacks competence as he has failed to sincerely address the controversy over the corporation’s balance sheets.

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