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The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on Friday reprimanded nine officials and returned about 2 million yen collected from those involved in a fund mismanagement scam regarding wages for part-time workers, METI head Shoichi Nakagawa said.

METI, which has been mired in funds misuse scandals, ended an in-house probe into one of the cases. Nakagawa said an outside lawyer concluded there is little possibility for those involved in the wage scandal to be criminally charged.

In the case, METI’s Americas Division used funds from state coffers as wages for unregistered staff who substituted for part-time workers at METI when there were sudden absences between 1995 and last June.

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