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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 October 14 - 20  > Welfare ministry official arrested for bribery over ‘My Number’ system project
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2015 October 14 - 20 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Welfare ministry official arrested for bribery over ‘My Number’ system project

October 14 & 15, 2015
An official of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry was arrested on suspicion of bribery in connection with a project to introduce the “My Number” social security and tax identity system, announced the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department on October 13.

According to the police, Nakayasu Kazuyuki, who is in a senior position of the ministry’s statistics and information department, in November 2011 accepted a bribe of one million yen in cash from a Tokyo-based information and technology consultant firm in return of helping the company win a contract for a system designing project linked to the 12-digit ID number system.

Regarding this new personal identification system, it is said that 300 billion yen in taxpayer money will be spent for the launch of the system and 30 billion yen will be used every year to operate the system.

Over the past year alone, the Welfare Ministry awarded four contracts worth about 1.2 billion yen in total to large corporations such as Hitachi and NTT Data for projects to initiate the “My Number” system. All four contracts were made without competitive bidding. This indicates that corporations may gain substantial profits from the “My Number” system and that there is a risk that the system will become a hotbed of corrupt ties between government bureaucrats and corporations.

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Takahashi Chizuko and a Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker on October 14 handed to the Lower House Welfare Committee Chair a written request to hold a committee meeting to reveal the details of the bribery scandal and discuss preventive measures despite the current recess of the Diet.

Past related article:
> Yamashita demands cancellation of ‘My Number’ program [August 28&29, 2015]
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