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Ibaraki: 3 city staffers die in apparent suicides amid bid-rigging probe

IBARAKI (TR) – Three management-level staff members for the Ryugasaki City office died in apparent suicides in April.

The suicides took place following the emergence of a bid-rigging probe, reports the Ibaraki Shimbun (May 7).

During a press conference on Thursday, the city said that a section manager and two assistants, all aged in their 40s or 50s, died over the last half of April. All of the cases are believed to have been suicides.

“We did not make an announcement,” a manager of the city said.

On March 3, the vice mayor of the city, 65-year-old Mitsuo Kawamura, and Keiichiro Kawakita, the director of the city’s social welfare council, were arrested for leaking information prior to a bid for a city construction project.

As well, a summary court fined one section managers 500,000 yen for their role in the bid-rigging. Meanwhile, another section manager was indicted without arrest.

Kawamura and the second manager have since resigned from their posts. It is not known if either section manager involved in the bid-rigging probe is the same section manager who took their life.