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Prosecutors are seeking to establish a criminal case by the end of the year against a secretary of former Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Toshihiro Nikai on suspicion of making false statements in political funds reports, sources said.

The allegation is linked to a finding by the prosecutors that a Liberal Democratic Party branch headed by Nikai, 70, a Lower House member, received funds totaling around ¥9 million from Nishimatsu Construction Co. under the names of the company’s employees in the three years to 2008, the sources said.

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