Not So Honorary Doctorate?

PM Ismail Sabri receives honorary doctorate from Nihon University
[Bernama May 24th]

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob was today awarded the Honorary Doctorate in Medicine by Nihon University, one of the most distinguished and oldest private universities in Japan.

The honorary degree was in appreciation of Ismail Sabri’s efforts and contributions in the fight against Covid-19.

Ismail Sabri received the honorary doctorate from Nihon University president Dr Naoto Kato at the university in Itabashi, one of the cities in the metropolis of Tokyo during his six-day official working visit to Japan.


Nihon University chairman arrested for allegedly evading ¥53 million in taxes
[Japan Times Nov 29th]

Prosecutors Monday arrested Nihon University Chairman Hidetoshi Tanaka for allegedly evading around ¥53 million in income tax.

A special investigation squad of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office suspects that the 74-year-old head of the Japanese private university evaded income tax between 2018 and 2020 by hiding earnings, including kickbacks, in violation of the income tax law.

The squad searched Tanaka’s home in Tokyo in September, when it also raided the university’s headquarters. The squad also searched his home in October, when Tadao Inoguchi, a 64-year-old former board member of Nihon University, and Masami Yabumoto, 61, former head of the Kinshukai medical group, were arrested. The two have been indicted on breach of trust charges.

According to sources, investigators found over ¥200 million in cash at Tanaka’s home during the searches, and the squad was looking into the matter.


Our comment

It appears that the head of this distinguished university was arrested at the end of last year for hoarding kickbacks in his home for which he had moreover evaded tax (given they must have been hard to declare).

One has to wonder what kickbacks a university chairman might be expecting to receive to the tune of hundreds of millions of Japanese yen? The issuing of academic accolades most certainly comes to mind as one possibility.

How unfortunate then that this should have been the university that just happened to wake up to Ismail Sabri’s contribution to the efforts against Covid (which had so lamentably by-passed the rest of world and indeed most Malaysians) in order to present him with this honorary doctorate in medicine!

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