Police in Japan have arrested an environment ministry official for alleged bribery over decontamination work following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.
Fifty-six-year-old Yuji Suzuki, who works at a ministry sub-branch in the prefecture, is suspected of helping a construction company land such work in exchange for wining and dining.
The work is aimed at removing radioactive material from houses, soil and woods near the crippled plant.
Fukushima and Tokyo police found that Suzuki was provided entertainment at hostess bars and a free trip worth about 1,750 US dollars from the construction firm in Toyama Prefecture.
Police also arrested a former president of the firm, Mikio Kosugi over the suspected bribery. The 2 have reportedly admitted to the allegations.
Suzuki is among experts hired on a temporary basis by the ministry to deal with reconstruction work including cleaning up widespread fallout from the accident. Police say he was in charge of overseeing decontamination.
Environment Minister Koichi Yamamoto on Thursday expressed regret, saying the scandal could undermine Fukushima people's trust in the cleanup effort.
He said his ministry will try to win back public trust by tightening discipline and carrying out work properly.