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An Olympic sports association headed by Foreign Minister Taro Aso is facing charges of fund embezzlement and opaque accounting, according to association sources.

An investigative panel set up by the Japan Clay Target Shooting Association compiled a report earlier this month that said 5 million yen posted in an account in February was processed in an obscure manner, the sources said Friday.

The report says it is “a problem that raises the possibility of professional embezzlement.”

In fiscal 2005, which ran through last March 31, the 5 million yen in question was posted as a reserve fund in a bank account of the association on Feb. 27 by the Kanagawa prefectural chapter of the association.

It was withdrawn the next day but was repaid in mid-May, according to the report. The investigative panel suspects there may have been irregularities in the runup to the repayment.

The executive in charge of the money said that “5 million yen was held in my car or placed in my bank account, but there was nothing suspicious whatsoever.”

The sports ministry was also briefed on the issue. Aso’s office declined to comment.

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