• Kyodo

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The Cabinet Office failed to name a member of staff who was disciplined last year for inappropriate behavior, in what is likely a breach of public authority guidelines, documents obtained under the freedom of information law showed Friday.

A Cabinet Office official said the anonymity of the employee — who was suspended for three months — was preserved to protect victims of the scandal from being identified. But the revelation is likely to raise concerns about freedom of public information ahead of a new state secrets law coming into force later this year.

Documents related to the Cabinet Office’s disciplinary process state that the employee’s behavior was “inappropriate for a public servant and unbecoming of an upstanding member of society,” and as a result, was punishable by suspension under the National Public Service Law.

But the decision was not made public at the time and significant parts of the documents have been censored, including the employee’s name, role and the date the punishment was imposed, as well as details about the act in question.

National Personnel Authority guidelines require any offense severe enough to warrant suspension to be made public, as happened in 2011 when a Cabinet Office staffer arrested on allegations of possessing child pornography was suspended.

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