Suspected disability certificate scam leads to Sapporo clinic raid


Police raided a 73-year-old doctor’s Sapporo clinic Wednesday on suspicion that he helped patients illegally obtain physical disability certificates by diagnosing their hearing as worse than it was, investigative sources said.

Hokkaido Prefectural Police are considering establishing a criminal case against Yoshiaki Maeda on suspicion of violating the physically handicapped persons’ welfare law, or for fraud, the sources said.

According to the local authorities, a patient in his 40s was diagnosed by Maeda in April last year as severely disabled because of hearing difficulties in both ears but another doctor concluded in February that the patient did not suffer from such a disorder.

Of the 840 people who obtained certificates based on Maeda’s diagnoses, 765, or more than 90 percent, have returned them to the prefecture.