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Ministry of Finance staff member found dead in apparent suicide in January

Ministry of Finance
An employee of the Ministry of Finance committed suicide in a dormitory in Setagaya Ward in January (Twitter)

TOKYO (TR) – A male staff member of the Ministry of Finance was found dead in an apparent suicide in Setagaya Ward in January, it was learned last week, reports the Yomiuri Shimbun (Mar. 16).

On January 29, a colleague of the staff member visited the dormitory and found him hanged inside after he failed to arrive at work, according to the ministry.

According to a Ministry of Finance source cited by the Yomiuri, the employee, aged in his 30s, joined the headquarters of the ministry in July of last year. He worked as the chief clerk of a national property-related division at the ministry.

The suicide is the second by an employee of the ministry connected to a property division to emerge this month.

On March 7, an employee at the Kinki Bureau of the ministry was found dead at his home in Kobe. The employee was involved in the sale of state-owned land to a school operator in Osaka in 2016 for the school Moritomo Gakuen, a transaction that is at the center of allegations of favoritism targeting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

At a hearing concerning the falsification of documents connected to the Moritomo case in the Diet on March 15, lower house member Michiyoshi Yunoki made an inquiry about whether the suicide of the employee in January was connected to the case. Kazunari Toyama, deputy director-general of the ministry’s Financial Bureau, declined to comment since it is a “private matter.”

The aforementioned source cited by the Yomiuri said that the employee was not involved in the Moritomo transaction. A separate person with knowledge of the matter told the paper that the employee had suffered from relationship problems at the workplace.