• Kyodo

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The Cabinet Bureau of Personnel Affairs on Tuesday formed a 30-person team to conduct a government-wide inquiry into preferential private-sector hiring treatment for former public servants.

The launch follows recent revelations of systematic involvement by the education ministry in illegally helping a senior official land a plum post-retirement job.

“We will place weight on investigating thoroughly and with speed,” said Kozo Yamamoto, the minister in charge of the public servants system.

The team will have a squad of lawyers to ensure fairness by including third-party involvement, bureau officials said Monday.

The investigation will cover all of the approximately 270,000 current employees in central government ministries, as well as retirees, the officials said. The team will determine priorities for the initial investigation and instruct each government ministry and agency on what to do for the probe.

The bureau will not disclose details on how the investigation will be conducted and will not reveal its targets, because doing so could hinder the effort.

In a recent scandal, the education ministry’s top bureaucrat resigned and a few other officials were reprimanded after a government watchdog found that the ministry helped a director-general secure a post-retirement university job in 2015. The ministry was also found to have tried to hide its actions by preparing guidelines for the parties involved in the event they were questioned.

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