National

Two top executives at Tokyo Medical University quit amid bribery scandal

JIJI

Tokyo Medical University has announced that its two top executives have quit over a bribery scandal centering around an education ministry grant program for private universities.

The university accepted letters of resignation submitted by Masahiko Usui, 77, chairman of its board of regents, and Mamoru Suzuki, 69, president of the private school, officials said at a news conference Friday. The letters were dated Thursday, according to the officials.

Executive regent Tetsuo Yukioka acknowledged that the pair are suspected of offering a bribe and apologized for the trouble caused by the scandal.

Usui and Suzuki, who are being investigated by public prosecutors without arrest, did not appear at the news conference.

On Wednesday, the special investigation squad of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office arrested education ministry official Futoshi Sano, 58, for allegedly taking a bribe from the university. Prosecutors suspect Sano favored the institute’s application for the government program in exchange for his son gaining admission into the university.

Yukioka stopped short of specifying if such misconduct actually took place, noting that the prosecutors’ investigation is underway. Sano’s son is currently absent from the school, according to Yukioka.

Lawyers of the university are investigating the matter. The school is also considering setting up a third-party committee to look into the scandal.

Following the arrest, Sano was removed from the post of director-general of the ministry’s Science and Technology Policy Bureau and moved to the education ministry’s secretariat.