Prosecutors indicted an education ministry official on Aug. 15 on a charge of accepting bribes from a consulting company executive in relation to businesses at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

Kazuaki Kawabata, 57, the former director-general for international affairs at the ministry, allegedly received bribes worth about 1.5 million yen ($13,570) in the form of wining and dining.

Koji Taniguchi, 47, who served as an executive of a medical care consulting company, was also indicted on Aug. 15 on a charge of providing the bribes to Kawabata.

Taniguchi had already been indicted in a different scandal on a charge of helping another education ministry official, Futoshi Sano, receive bribes from Tokyo Medical University executives.

According to the announcement by the Special Investigation Department of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office, Kawabata was on loan to JAXA from August 2015 to March 2017, where he worked as a vice president.

During the period, he was wined and dined more than 20 times in return for giving favors to the consulting company. The lavish drinks and dining totaled 1.5 million yen, including taxi fares.

According to related sources, at Taniguchi’s request, Kawabata dispatched an astronaut to a lecture held by Tokyo Medical University in November 2016. The university had a business relationship with the consulting company.

Kawabata also advised Taniguchi when the company executive pitched a disaster preparedness program, which utilizes JAXA satellites, to a major distribution company.

The prosecutors have acquired voice data, which recorded conversations at the wining-and-dining sessions, and Kawabata’s logs on which he wrote the dates and times of those occasions.

The prosecutors are also investigating another executive of the same consulting company, who is suspected of advising Taniguchi on how to entertain government officials.

The executive, whose wife was a former Lower House member of the now-defunct Democratic Party of Japan, taught Taniguchi on how to get on friendly terms with Diet members and bureaucrats.

The executive and Taniguchi are believed to be so-called “Kasumigaseki brokers,” who obtain information on governmental policies and public works projects from Diet members and bureaucrats and provide it to companies, thus acquiring monetary and other benefits.

“Among those brokers, Taniguchi was a newcomer,” an investigative source said.