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Suga gave U.S. official 8,374-dlr bottle of whisky in 2019

Washington, Aug. 4 (Jiji Press)–A bottle of whisky worth 8,374 dollars was given to a senior U.S. government official in May 2019 by Japan’s then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, now prime minister, it was learned Wednesday.

 

The whisky was given to Matt Pottinger, then senior director for Asia at the U.S. National Security Council, according to information reported in a U.S. Department of State document about gifts received by senior U.S. government officials in 2019.

 

Suga visited the United States around the same time and held talks with then Vice President Mike Pence.

 

The U.S. Constitution bans government personnel from receiving gifts from the governments of other countries. A provision allows U.S. government officials to accept gifts worth up to some 400 dollars. But gifts worth more than that are regarded as state property.

 

If the gift from Suga had been rejected, it would have embarrassed him, the document said, justifying Pottinger’s acceptance of the whisky.

 

The document also said that the department is investigating a missing bottle of whisky worth 5,800 dollars given by the Japanese government in June 2019 to then U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

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