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Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary: Arrests of ministry staffers for drugs ‘truly regrettable’

TOKYO (TR) – Following this month’s arrests of career bureaucrats with Japan’s education and trade ministries on drug-related charges, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga on Wednesday described the developments as “truly regrettable,” reports the Sankei Shimbun (May 28).

Suga told reporters on Wednesday, “We will fully cooperate with the investigations at the departments where each staff member belongs, and after confirming the facts, we will deal with [each case] strictly.”

On Tuesday, the Kanto Narcotics Control Department entered the Shinjuyu Ward residence of Mitsuhiro Fukuzawa, a 44-year-old adviser for the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and discovered unspecified amounts of kakuseizai, or stimulant drugs, and marijuana.

Mitsuhiro Fukuzawa
Mitsuhiro Fukuzawa of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Twitter)

Investigators later searched the desk of Fukuzawa at the ministry and discovered what appears to be more stimulant drugs in a bag and syringes.

“I have the stimulant drugs for my own use,” the suspect was quoted.

Earlier this month, police accused Tetsuya Nishida, a 28-year-old section manager at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, of possessing 22 grams of stimulant drugs found in the pages of a fashion magazine that arrived by air mail at Narita International Airport from the U.S. on April 15.

Police later accused Nishida of also using stimulant drugs.