• Kyodo

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Digitalization minister Takuya Hirai admitted Friday he instructed officials to coerce the developer of a smartphone app for monitoring the health of foreign visitors during the Tokyo Games into cutting costs, by threatening to withhold future government contracts.

Hirai was reported to have told senior officials in the Cabinet Secretariat that were overseeing the app project in April that they "would be better off threatening" the joint venture developing the app in order to achieve cost reductions. The venture partners include major Japanese information technology firm NEC Corp.

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