Prosecutors searched organizations associated with the Japan aerospace exploration Agency (JAXA) after being arrested on charges of bribery of a senior official of the Ministry of education, previously working in JAXA.
Prosecutors suspect that 57-year-old Kazuaki Kawabata, Director General of the Department of international Affairs of the Ministry of education, culture, sports, science and technology, and previously held the post of Director of JAXA, used a corruption scheme. He organized a lecture by JAXA cosmonaut Satoshi Furukawa at Tokyo medical University in November 2016. According to the investigation, Kawabata did not choose the University by chance, but for a certain fee.Organizations that accept JAXA astronauts as lecturers should cover the transportation costs of the lecturers, but the lectures themselves are not usually paid.
The party that provided bribes to the official-koji Taniguchi, a former head of a consulting firm for the provision of medical care. In exchange for Kawabata’s agreement that the cosmonaut should give a lecture at the Tokyo medical University, he was allegedly given expensive treatment.
Taniguchi was also involved in the corruption scandal around the program of support of the Ministry of education for private universities. Taniguchi allegedly introduced Futoshi Sano, former head of the Bureau of the Ministry of education, to officials at Tokyo medical University. Taniguchi has accused the EZLN agreed to a bribe in exchange for services.
Ministry of education, culture, sports, science and technology was initially preparing to set up an outside Committee to investigate allegations of bribery involving the Sano, but later Minister Yoshimas Hayashi said the plan would be postponed due to the arrest of Kawabata.