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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 June 9 - 15  > Don't obscure facts behind NTT's entertaining-for-favor scandals in gov't communications administration
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2021 June 9 - 15 [POLITICS]

Don't obscure facts behind NTT's entertaining-for-favor scandals in gov't communications administration

June 11, 2021

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

Japan's telecom giant NTT on June 7 published a report on its wining-and-dining scandals involving officials of the Communications Ministry and NTT executives. The report confirms that NTT between 2016 and 2020 paid most of the expenses for at least 29 dinners with ministry officials. At five of the 29 dinners, the ministry's three political-level appointees were present.

The report holds back the names of the officials entertained, but Noda Seiko (acting secretary-general of the Liberal Democratic Party and House of Representatives member), Takaichi Sanae (LDP member of the House of Representatives), Sakai Manabu (deputy chief cabinet secretary and LDP member of the House of Representatives), and Terada Manabu (Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan member of the House of Representatives) admitted to their attendance at the dinners when the former two were communications ministers and the latter two were vice communications ministers.

The report points out that wining and dining of the minister, the vice-ministers, or the parliamentary secretaries while in office who hold authority to give various approvals to NTT groups "could invite suspicion from the general public" in addition to suspicion of violation of the ministerial code.

Bringing down cellphone charges was a centerpiece policy of the Suga government. NTT dinner meetings with the communications officials took place when NTT was attempting to make mobile phone carrier Docomo a wholly-owned NTT subsidiary.

Twenty-one telecommunications carriers, including Softbank and KDDI, in April jointly requested that the Communications Ministry conduct "thorough investigations", claiming that a question has arisen as to "the fairness of the communications administration".

NTT is a government-funded company and the government has authority over NTT's personnel affairs. Public administration concerning telecommunications which are closely related to people's daily lives may have been distorted as a result of the wining-and-dining scandals. It is essential to uncover the whole truth behind the wining-and-dining scandals.

Past related articles:
> Diet should uncover full truth behind alleged bribery involving broadcast media firm where PM Suga's son works [May 26, 2021]
> JCP Yamazoe questions presidents of Tohokushinsha and NTT in regard to wining-and-dining scandals [March 16, 2021]
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