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Japan's embattled stem cell institute splurges on luxury furniture: Report

Published on Apr 14, 2014 3:05 PM
 
Riken institute head, Ryoji Noyori, who jointly won the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 2001, answers questions during a press conference in Tokyo on April 1, 2014. A publicly-funded research institute in Japan, already embattled after accusing one of its own stem cell scientists of faking data, has spent tens of thousands of dollars on designer Italian furniture, reportedly to use up its budget. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (AFP) - A publicly-funded research institute in Japan, already embattled after accusing one of its own stem cell scientists of faking data, has spent tens of thousands of dollars on designer Italian furniture, reportedly to use up its budget.

The respected Riken Institute, headed by Nobel chemistry laureate Ryoji Noyori, spent almost 10 million yen (S$122,900) on two shopping sprees in March 2011 at Cassina Ixc., a maker and importer of top-range furniture, publicly-released information shows.

In its latest edition, Shukan Bunshun magazine cites a former Riken researcher as saying the lavish spending was part of a drive to use up its approximately 100 billion yen budget before the April 1 end of the fiscal year.

"When I was at the institute, it was having a tough time spending its budget within a fiscal year, so it would frequently do interior renovations," the researcher, who was not identified, was quoted as saying.

 
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