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Court grants bail to former senior education ministry official

Kazuaki Kawabata (Mainichi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A Japanese court decided Thursday to release on bail a former senior education ministry official, who was indicted the previous day for bribery in connection with wining and dining by a consulting firm executive.

The Tokyo District Court set bail at 10 million yen ($90,000) for Kazuaki Kawabata, former director general for international affairs at the ministry.

He is the second former official to face criminal charges in a series of scandals linked to the education ministry, following the indictment of another official for corruption in July.

Kawabata, 57, was allegedly treated to meals, drinks and taxi payments by Koji Taniguchi, then-executive of the firm, on around 20 occasions in return for providing favors to the company. At the time, Kawabata was on loan at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency as an executive board member between August 2015 and March 2017.

Taniguchi was also indicted Wednesday.

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