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UPDATED: 13:59, February 01, 2006
Japan's defense agency to dissolve a scandal-involved branch
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The Japanese Defense Agency is to dissolve its Defense Facilities Administration Agency, which has been involved in a bid-rigging scandal recently, Japan's defense agency chief said Wednesday.

"The entity has caused a scandal of this magnitude and it has become clear that the bid-rigging was arranged in a systematic manner," Fukushiro Nukaga, Defense Agency Director General said on a television program.

"I'd like to decide on the dissolution of the entity, a step the Japanese people want us to take," said Nukaga.

Three current and former senior officials from the Defense Facilities Administration Agency were arrested on Monday, on suspicion of leading bid-rigging for air-conditioning projects between November 2004 and March 2005. Prosecutors later searched the facilities agency and several contractors involved.

Later on Wednesday, Nukaga apologized for the scandal before a parliament committee. "I am really ashamed of the scandal, which betrayed the trust of the Japanese people," said he.

"What is most important is to resolve the issue in a transparent manner," said Nukaga.

The Defense Facilities Administration Agency is a national government executive agency which performs administrative work related to defense facilities.

Source: Xinhua

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