October 3, 2008

Japan Ministry May Punish Officials Entertained By Rice Traders

Text of report in English by Japan's largest news agency Kyodo

Tokyo, Oct. 3 Kyodo - The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said Friday it is considering punishing 12 officials identified as wined and dined by Osaka-based Mikasa Foods and other rice traders.

After Mikasa Foods' illegal sales of tainted rice for human consumption were unveiled in early September, the ministry found one official was entertained by the company and screened some 8,500 current and former ministry officials who have been in charge of rice distribution.

The ministry said it will consult with the National Public Service Ethics Board on the punishment of these officials.

Originally published by Kyodo News Service, Tokyo, in English 0409 3 Oct 08.

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