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A member of Nihon University’s executive board is suspected of receiving tens of millions of yen out of some ¥200 million that is believed to have been diverted from the university in a possible breach of trust case, investigative sources said Wednesday.

The special investigation squad of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office is now seen to be in the final phase of its probe into the matter as they are questioning the 64-year-old board member.

Nihon University placed an order with a Tokyo-based firm to undertake design work for a project rebuilding its aged Itabashi Hospital in the Japanese capital’s Itabashi Ward for some ¥2.4 billion last year, sources familiar with the matter said.

The board member in question is suspected of having caused financial damage to Nihon University by diverting around ¥200 million from the educational institution to a consulting firm based in Tokyo’s Minato Ward, in which a former chairman of a medical corporation group has invested, in connection with the design contract.

Nihon University Enterprise Co. — established as a wholly owned unit of the university in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward to be responsible for goods procurement and facility management — was in charge of the selection of a design firm for the rebuilding project and supported the design work.

The 64-year-old university executive doubled as a board director of Nihon University Enterprise and held negotiations with the design firm.

During the summer of last year, Nihon University paid about ¥700 million to the design firm as an advance. The board director instructed an executive of the design firm to send some ¥200 million of the money to one of the consulting firm’s accounts.

Later, the board director allegedly received a total of several tens of millions of yen from a company related to the medical corporation group via multiple firms, according to the investigative sources.

Since Sept. 8, the special squad has searched related locations to clarify the money flows.

It has seized materials from places such as Nihon University Enterprise, the university’s headquarters in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward and the house of Hidetoshi Tanaka, the university’s 74-year-old chairman.

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