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A 58-year-old official of the House of Representatives secretariat has been arrested for allegedly taking a bribe in exchange for favoring a communications equipment maker that was bidding for a state contract, police said Thursday.

Police said they also arrested the company’s 53-year-old president on suspicion of making the bribe.

Masaaki Suzuki, former chief of the Diet chamber’s electric equipment division, is suspected of accepting about 1 million yen between March 2002 and September 2003 from M TICK President Toyofumi Mizukami and senior M TICK executive Mamoru Morita, 65, for helping the company win telephone equipment work from the secretariat.

Suzuki and Morita, both of whom were arrested Wednesday, have known each other for about 20 years, police said.

M TICK was established in 1987 and has executed over 100 contracts for the secretariat. It is only allowed to bid for projects worth 10 million yen and under, but has accepted contracts worth more than than that, including one in July 2003 that cost about 65 million yen, investigative sources said.

Suzuki, who entered the Lower House secretariat in 1969, was reprimanded in September for violating the public service ethics code by accepting gifts worth between 3,000 yen and 5,000 yen from the company during a three-year period through 2003.

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