National

Former METI adviser Saito rewrites resume after quitting government posts under cloud of doubt

KYODO, STAFF REPORT

William Hiroyuki Saito, a former adviser to the industry ministry and the Cabinet Office, said Friday that he wants to correct part of his career history, after resigning from the posts last week in the wake of a report that said he falsified his background.

“It is not true that I graduated from a medical school of the University of California, Los Angeles and obtained a medical license. I hereby would like to make a correction,” Saito wrote on his website. He was hired as a cybersecurity expert by the Cabinet Office in 2013 and by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in 2016.

Saito was part of The Japan Times’ advisory board from January 2014 until December 2015.

Saito, who said he is a second-generation Japanese born in the United States, cited personal circumstances as the reason for his resignation as adviser to METI, dated Dec. 15. He tendered his resignation to the Cabinet Office two days before.

“I had expectations for his knowledge and personal connections,” METI chief Hiroshige Seko said Friday at a news conference. Seko said that during his term as adviser Saito did not engage in any work that gave him access to important ministry information.

As for a question about whether he is actually an IT expert, he said he wants to be judged by “facts and achievements.”

Earlier, Saito said he resigned from the posts because he reached a stopping point in his advisory work.