Major textbook publisher Taishukan Publishing Co. has been distributing study materials for free to public high schools in Gifu and Nagasaki prefectures despite the practice being banned, prefectural education boards have revealed.

Gifu Sogo Gakuen High School reported to its education board that it had received around 1,900 study materials for free from the publisher since the 2014 school year.

The Textbook Publishers Association of Japan bans companies from providing cash and goods, including teaching materials, to individuals involved in textbook selection to ensure a fair process.

According to the publisher, its sales staff distributed study materials to 11 public schools and three private schools in Tokyo, Ibaraki, Saitama, Kanagawa and Niigata prefectures. The latest revelation brought the number of schools involved to 16 in seven prefectures.

Taishukan informed the school in the spring of 2014 that it was "ready to provide free study materials if requested" and shipped them for about two years though April, according to the Gifu board.

In the same prefecture, another eight public high schools have adopted Taishukan's English textbook since the 2013 school year, but none of them received the free study materials.

Taishukan President Kazuyuki Suzuki, chairman of the textbook publishers association since February, said he will resign from the post this month.

The education board of Nagasaki Prefecture and Taishukan also confirmed Wednesday that the publisher had provided about 240 study materials to a public school in the prefecture.

The materials have already been collected from the Gifu and Nagasaki prefecture schools.