• Kyodo News

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One of Prime Minister Taro Aso’s aides said he introduced a former deputy education minister to a dentist last July after the dentist had consulted him over his son’s quest to enter a private medical school.

“I have never received a reward. I only asked (the former deputy minister) to provide consultation for career guidance,” said Ichiro Muramatsu, Aso’s secretary, denying any wrongdoing.

Muramatsu said that after the consultation with the dentist, he mailed the dentist’s name to the former deputy minister and asked that party, whose name was not provided, to “make arrangements over the matter.”

The former deputy minister responded: “OK, although I don’t know how much I can be of help,” Muramatsu said.

In the end, however, the dentist did not make any contact with the ex-deputy minister.

In a Diet committee session Friday, Aso said he reprimanded Muramatsu, saying such an action “could raise public suspicion.” But he added that no favors or money were exchanged between the aide and the ex-bureaucrat.

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