An investigation by Japan’s Education Ministry has uncovered over 40 improper appointments given to retired senior public servants from its department at several Japanese universities. In a practice known as amakudari, retired government officials are given plush appointments at businesses and organisations affiliated with government departments.
The practice of amakudari was outlawed in 2007. It is seen to encourage corruption, because it opens government officials to being courted by businesses and organisations in return for the promise of plush post-service appointments.
The investigation was launched after it emerged that senior officers in the education ministry had helped secure a teaching job for a senior retiring bureaucrat at the prestigious Waseda University in Tokyo.
The scandal led to the resignation last month of Kihei Maekawa, the ministry’s administrative vice minister. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has now ordered a government-wide investigation to determine if the practice is widespread in other departments.