By Duncan Mackay

Haruki Uemura at press conferenceJune 21 - A total of 27 coaches received illegal payments from the All Japan Judo Federation (AJJF), an independent panel investigating the misappropriation of funds has revealed in its report published today, which criticises the country's top-ranking officials, including President Haruki Uemura.

They received subsidies totalling totalling ¥36.2 million (£240,000/$371,000/€281,000) provided by the Japan Sports Council from 2007 onward even during periods when they did not coach any athletes, the panel said.

The Investigating Committee, headed by lawyer Takahiro Yamauchi, had already issued a damning mid-term report in April that had criticised the AJJF. 

The Committee reported that former AJJF technical director and Board member Kazuo Yoshimura "must shoulder the heaviest responsibility," and that secretary general Kiyoshi Murakami and Uemura (pictured top) were also to blame.

Kazuo Yoshimura February 2013AJJF technical director Kazuo Yoshimura, bowing for apology during a press conference on his resignation on February following the abuse scandal, is at the centre of new controversy

It said Uemura also has to take responsibility for hiring Yoshimura.

The report discovered that 12 of the 27 coaches did not qualify for subsidies during any of the periods, while 15 did for some of the period.

It branded a "development reserve fund" collected by the AJJF from subsidy recipients as "inappropriate".

Yamauchi warned that the AJJF should "take the report seriously and take appropriate action," adding it is "a last chance" to reform the body.

"Chairman Uemura is highly capable, but I want him to consider whether he has been taking the right measures," Yamauchi said.

Uemura, the 1976 Olympic open class gold medallist, had already vowed that he would not step down until he had overseen a reform of the AJJF, which had originally been plunged into crisis in January when it had been revealed that its coaches had been abusing female judokas in preparation for London 2012.

"I will double check and analyse the final report and discuss it thoroughly at a Board meeting [on Monday June 24]," said Uemura.

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