Ex-Japan Pension Service pair held in theft of data on at least 400 members

The Osaka Prefectural Police on Thursday arrested former Japan Pension Service employees on suspicion of stealing personal information of public pension participants.

The police have not said whether Kosuke Kuzunishi, 39, who was fired the same day, and his former boss, Isao Matsushima, 49, unemployed, admitted to the charges.

Personal information on at least 400 people is believed to have been stolen from the government-linked corporation. The police are investigating whether any of the data have been used fraudulently.

According to their arrest warrants, Kuzunishi and Matsushima conspired to print out and steal pension information on 20 people in their 20s to 70s from personal computers at the office Kuzunishi worked at, on a total of 11 occasions between October 2014 and February 2016.

The data included the names, dates of birth, home addresses and basic pension numbers, police sources said, adding that Kuzunishi stole the data on people chosen by Matsushima, at the request of the former boss.

The thefts were discovered through the Japan Pension Service’s internal investigations. The corporation reported the findings to the police in February.

At a press conference, the Japan Pension Service said no fraudulent use of the data has been confirmed. Kuzunishi committed the wrongdoing from around 2008 apparently because he was threatened by Matsushima, according to the organization.

The Japan Pension Service apologized and promised to take preventive steps.

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