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Hokkaido G8 chief breaks ethics code

SAPPORO (Kyodo) The Hokkaido Prefectural Government plans to punish its chief of staff for the Group of Eight summit preparations because he dined and drank with senior employees of the company hired to operate the Web site for the event, officials said.

Yoshihiro Yamaya, 54, of the Bureau of Hokkaido Toyako Summit under the Department of Governor's Policy Planning, violated an ethics ordinance prohibiting government employees from wining and dining with people with business interests, officials said.

The bureau is serving as the window for the municipal governments that are preparing for the meeting of G8 leaders July 7 to 9 in the town of Toyako. It opened a portal Web site in November.

Yamaya ate and drank with the information technology businesspeople he became acquainted with through work several times around spring 2006, but he says he shared the expenses and provided no favors to them, the prefectural government said.

Source: www.japantimes.co.jp