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Prosecutors have arrested Sadao Usuda, chairman of the Japan Dental Association, and Takeshi Shimomura, a member of a government advisory body, in connection with bribes the former allegedly paid to the latter for lobbying efforts aimed at boosting dental-service fees.

The bribery affair may hamper Diet debate on pension reform, because the opposition camp is demanding answers before debate proceeds. Shimomura, a member of the Central Social Insurance Medical Council, formerly served as chief of the Social Insurance Agency.

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