• Kyodo

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A noted pharmaceutical scientist and former professor at Kyoto University’s graduate school was arrested Tuesday for allegedly taking bribes from a Tokyo-based medical equipment sales firm from 2007 to 2011.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office arrested Gozo Tsujimoto, 59, as well as Keiji Kiguchi, 62, president of the company, Med Shirotori, and Masashi Ueda, 53, the firm’s chief salesman, on suspicion of giving the bribes.

Tsujimoto, who left the university in late June after the scandal was reported, allegedly received about ¥6.2 million in exchange for helping the company sell medical equipment to the school.

According to the prosecutors, Tsujimoto used a Med Shirotori credit card between September 2007 and June 2011 to pay for wining and dining and to buy goods worth about ¥4.76 million, knowing the company gave him the card in exchange for his help. He also had the company pay about ¥1.46 million in international travel costs for him of his family during four trips between August 2009 and August 2011, they said.

Med Shirotori won at least five contracts, including for a genome analyzer, worth a combined ¥246 million from the university between 2007 and 2011. Tsujimoto, a leading researcher in the field of developing new drugs from genomic information, was involved in deciding some of the devices’ required specifications.

Investigators from the prosecutor’s office raided a number of locations in late May, including Kyoto University, on suspicion of embezzlement of government research funds.

Tsujimoto, who became a professor at the university in 2002, resigned June 28.

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