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P.M. BRIEFING : Bribery Charged in Japan Scandal

<i> From Times wire services </i>

Prosecutors today filed bribery charges against the former chairman of Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp., Japan’s telecommunications giant, in a stock-trading scandal that has rocked the government.

Hisashi Shinto violated laws prohibiting company workers from receiving money and valuables in exchange for favors, the Tokyo public prosecutor’s office charged today.

The affair involves sales by a Tokyo-based information conglomerate, Recruit Co., of unlisted shares in a real estate subsidiary to more than 150 government officials, politicians and executives. Recipients of the shares reaped huge profits after the stock price soared later in over-the-counter trading.

The charges were filed after the Tokyo Stock Exchange ended trading today, but share prices of NTT already had plummeted to an all-time low before the closing. The company was once at the top of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, with total assets estimated at more than $1 billion.

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