TOKYO, March 1 — Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Monday once again apologised for a scandal involving his eldest son, Seigo, whose company had provided expensive dinners to high-ranking officials, reported Sputnik news agency.
“I deeply regret the current situation that in many respects undermines the trust of citizens. I am offering my apology,” Suga said in the country’s parliament.
The remarks come amid the resignation of the cabinet public relations secretary, Makiko Yamada, who was found to have been treated to an expensive meal worth about US$700 (RM2,836.75) by Seigo and other members of Tohokushinsha Film Corporation, a company that offers satellite broadcasting services. Yamada was at that time a vice-minister for policy coordination at the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
Last week, media reported that at least 13 officials from the communications ministry had violated the National Public Service Ethics Law by receiving expensive meals from Seigo’s company, to which the ministry grants licenses. The National Public Service Ethics Law prohibits receiving favours from stakeholders.
Seigo Suga’s company deals with film dubbing and satellite broadcasting, an area controlled by the communications ministry. According to media reports, there were 37 such meetings when ministerial officials had been wined and dined by Suga’s company. The total cost of such meals reportedly stood at about US$5,000 (RM20,262.50).