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World IN BRIEF / JAPAN

112 Punished in Ministry Scandal

April 28, 1998|From Times Wire Reports

Trying to repair its battered public image, the Finance Ministry punished 112 of its officials for being lavishly entertained by companies they regulate. Penalties ranged from reprimands to temporary pay cuts to suspensions for up to half a year. Vice Minister Eisuke Sakakibara, known as "Mr. Yen" for his influence in currency markets, was "severely reprimanded," the ministry said. While he can keep his job, the reprimand is an acute humiliation and could stand in the way of his advancement within the ministry or in another job. Two other senior bureaucrats submitted resignations after their punishments were announced.

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