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Friday, January 20, 2012

Miyagi man nabbed for taking bribe over post-disaster reconstruction project

ISHINOMAKI, Miyagi -- A 47-year-old man was arrested on the night of Jan. 19 for allegedly receiving a bribe over housing demolition work ordered by the city of Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

Police said the arrest of Teiichi Konno marks the first major bribery scandal in connection with ongoing post-disaster reconstruction efforts in northeastern Japan. Also arrested in the case was Sakue Sasaki, 60, president of a construction company who is suspected of bribing Konno. The two have admitted to the allegations, police sources said.

According to police investigations, Konno, then a temporary worker with the city's disaster waste disposal policy section, allegedly received a 200,000-yen bribe in return for informing Sasaki, then an employee of housing construction firm Surprise Home, of the name of a homeowner around mid-September last year in violation of the law. The city has been in the throes of demolishing the homeowner's house and other damaged buildings to prevent future accidents and damage. Read More