• Kyodo

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The Fukushima Prefectural Government took disciplinary action Tuesday against an employee in his 50s who used his office laptop to enter a raffle approximately 1,450 times, with about 930 being completed during working hours.

The man, who held a managerial position at an outpost agency in the city of Iwaki, will have his pay cut by 10 percent for six months. He reportedly told prefectural officials that things escalated after he won a prize in a previous drawing.

According to the prefectural government, the man — over a two-week period starting in early December — applied for the drawing, which was called “the top 10 news of 2017” and hosted by two newspaper companies, using a laptop computer provided by his place of work. The top prize was a cash prize or a bookshop gift card worth ¥30,000, and there were no limitations on the number of times an individual could enter.

The incident came to light after one of the newspaper firms hosting the event informed the prefecture that it had received an inordinate amount of applications from the prefectural government. The prefecture launched an investigation and tracked down the employee by analyzing access records from prefecture-owned laptops to external websites.

The man also admitted he has used an office computer in the past to enter other prize draws, a claim that could not be confirmed because access history on the computer was no longer available. The man apologized and promised to work for the people of Fukushima, prefectural officials said.

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