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NIPPON TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE CORPORATION

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Japan minister apologises for bureaucrat's dinners with NTT executives

03/07/2021 | 11:05pm EDT

TOKYO, March 8 (Reuters) - Japan's internal affairs minister removed a senior bureaucrat from his post and apologised on Monday for what he said could be a breach of the law after an inquiry showed the official attended meals with officials of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT).

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's administration has faced public criticism after the Shukan Bunshun magazine said internal affairs officials wined and dined with NTT, as well as Suga's son, an executive at a company that produces television programmes for satellite broadcasters.

Yasuhiko Taniwaki, the vice-minister for policy coordination, was transferred to another section after an investigation by the internal affairs ministry confirmed he had attended the dinners, with NTT president Jun Sawada, among others.

"It's regrettable that something that seriously undermines trust in public affairs has occurred," said Ryota Takeda, the minister for internal affairs and communications.

Japan's National Civil Service Ethics Law forbids government employees from receiving gifts or entertainment from individuals or firms that could be seen to curry favour.

However, a Yomiuri daily poll published on Monday showed support for Suga's administration outstripping the non-support rate for the first time since December as new coronavirus cases declined.

Support for Suga's administration rose to 48% in the survey conducted between March 5 and 7, for an increase of nine percentage points from the previous month's poll.

A spokesman for NTT, which was previously state-owned, declined to comment on the case, saying only that it was considering setting up a third-party panel to investigate.

The internal affairs ministry oversees the telecom and broadcasting industries.

Suga apologised last week after a key government spokeswoman, who hailed from the internal affairs ministry and attended the dinners hosted by Suga's son along with other officials, resigned.

Lowering cellphone service charges has been a key policy goal for Suga.

(Reporting by Daniel Leussink and Chang-ran Kim; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)


ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
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NIPPON TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE CORPORATION -0.56% 2825.5 End-of-day quote.6.80%
SAWADA HOLDINGS CO., LTD. 0.50% 1003 End-of-day quote.6.70%
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Financials
Sales 2022 11 999 B 109 B 109 B
Net income 2022 1 084 B 9 813 M 9 813 M
Net Debt 2022 6 787 B 61 460 M 61 460 M
P/E ratio 2022 9,16x
Yield 2022 3,90%
Capitalization 10 234 B 92 781 M 92 679 M
EV / Sales 2022 1,42x
EV / Sales 2023 1,36x
Nbr of Employees 324 667
Free-Float 58,4%
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Number of Analysts 18
Last Close Price 2 825,50 JPY
Average target price 3 345,56 JPY
Spread / Average Target 18,4%
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Managers and Directors
Jun Sawada President, CEO & Representative Director
Akira Shimada Chief Financial Officer & Representative Director
Hiromichi Shinohara Chairman
Naoki Shibuya Representative Director & Chief Technology Officer
Shinichi Yokohama Chief Information Security Officer
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