March 14, 2020 / 8:48 AM / 23 days ago

Panel says graft scandal at Kansai Electric bigger than reported by company

TOKYO (Reuters) - An independent committee investigating a graft scandal at Kansai Electric Power Co Inc (9503.T) said on Saturday a larger number of company officials had received more payments and gifts than Japan’s second-largest utility had disclosed.

In a four-page report that was posted on Kansai Electric’s website, the independent committee said that 75 officials working in the firm’s nuclear power business had received payments and gifts worth 360 million yen ($3.34 million) from the late deputy major of the town of Takahama.

Shigeki Iwane, who formally resigned on Saturday as the company’s president, previously said he and 19 colleagues had received payments and gifts worth 320 million yen from the late deputy mayor. Iwane in October said he would resign on the day the report was delivered.

Kansai Electric officials received the gifts over three decades through the 2010s, the independent commission’s report said.

A Kansai Electric spokeswoman declined to comment on the independent commission’s findings, but added the company would hold a press conference on Saturday evening.

The company appointed Takashi Morimoto, an executive already on its board, as its new president following Iwane’s resignation.

An official for Takahama, a town of about 10,000 people in central Japan, also declined to comment on the report’s findings, adding the town’s mayor planned to hold a news conference about it.

Reporting by Daniel Leussink, editing by Richard Pullin

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