A total of 1,475 officials of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry and the affiliated Social Insurance Agency have received a combined 988 million yen over the past five years from private companies for editing videos and books, the ministry said in an in-house investigation report Friday.
The ministry said it plans to order the vice minister and senior officials who received large sums of money to give up part of their salaries because their actions have led to “undermining public trust.”
It is not illegal for officials to receive the money from private companies in the form of “editing” fees.
Red flags were raised due to the sums involved and there are concerns that it might impede the ministry’s efforts to improve its image after a spate of scandals related to the spending of pension premiums. The issue surfaced in April after 78 officials from both the ministry and agency were found to have received about 70 million yen from Sentaku Agency Inc., a private publishing and editing company.
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