• Kyodo

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A former Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. manager is suspected of illegally diverting around ¥200 million from funds allocated for research and development of robots commissioned by the government and industry bodies, according to sources.

Fuji Heavy has set up an in-house panel to thoroughly investigate the scandal, the sources said, adding the findings are expected to be released possibly early this week. The funds were allocated for research and development commissioned by bodies including the trade ministry and the Japan Robot Association, they said.

The ex-manager, who worked as an engineer specializing in the development and design of robots for use in cleaning and agriculture, is suspected of diverting the funds by placing fake orders with a company with which he had close ties. The ex-manager has denied the allegations, the sources said.

After retiring from the firm, the person continued to be involved in Fuji Heavy’s robot development programs as a temporary employee. The company has already terminated the temporary employment contract, ending its association with the former manager.

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