A panel investigating a cash-and-gift scandal in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan, has found that 109 current and former prefectural officials received money or other gifts from a former deputy mayor of a town that hosts a nuclear plant.
The prefecture established the panel in October after the scandal involving the former deputy mayor of Takahama Town and top officials of Kansai Electric Power Company came to light. The utility operates the nuclear plant in the town.
The utility officials received 3 million dollars' worth of cash and gifts from late former deputy mayor Eiji Moriyama.
The panel is made up of three lawyers, who inquired 377 current and former prefectural officials.
Of 313 respondents,180 said they had contact with Moriyama, and 109 said they received cash or other gifts from him.
The panel says one man received a gold coin worth about 1,000 dollars and kept it. It says he tried to return the coin to Moriyama, but was strongly rejected.
The panel says it found no cases of recipients giving Moriyama favorable treatment in return.
It also says most of the officials sent Moriyama thank-you gifts worth almost the same as those they'd received.
Following the findings, Fukui Prefecture says it took disciplinary action against one official who received a gift certificate worth 1,000 dollars as well as a gold coin.