“Amakudari,” the custom of setting up retired senior bureaucrats in cushy jobs in industries they previously oversaw, has no shortage of critics, who lambaste the practice as an abuse of power and a source of corruption.

Catching flak from opposition lawmakers during the current Diet session, Prime Minister Taro Aso announced Feb. 3 he wants to ban amakudari and its variant known as “watari,” a serial form of the employment arrangement.

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