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An office set up to control “amakudari,” the notorious practice of setting up lucrative executive-level jobs for retiring bureaucrats in industries they once oversaw, was defanged before it even got off the ground, government sources said Tuesday.

Set up last December under the administration of then Prime Minister Taro Aso, the Center for Personnel Interchanges Between the Government and Private Entities is aimed at consolidating the “amakudari placement services” arranged by each ministry and agency overseeing the firms where the ex-bureaucrats landed. Amakudari literally means “descent from heaven.”

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