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Ex-education ministry official punished for ethics violations to join Tokyo 2020 committee

In this Sept. 21, 2018 file photo, Michiyasu Takahashi responds to reporters' questions regarding his resignation at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Tokyo. (Mainichi/Koichiro Tezuka)

TOKYO -- A former senior education ministry official forced to resign over a corruption scandal will join the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, individuals close to the matter revealed on Jan. 3.

Michiyasu Takahashi, 57, stepped down as head of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology's Elementary and Secondary Education Bureau in September last year. He and another senior bureaucrat were slapped with wage cuts for accepting meals and drinks from a former executive of a consulting company linked to a series of corruption cases involving ministry officials. The punishments were imposed under ethics rules for national government bureaucrats.

Takahashi, the first deputy head of the Japan Sports Agency upon its launch in October 2015, was highly regarded in official circles for his administrative skills while in the post. It is believed that the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee is bringing him on board to strengthen the body as it ramps up preparations for the games.

(Japanese original by Kazuhiro Tahara, Sports News Department)

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