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Bribery scandals in Japan’s nuclear power sector

Executives in Japan Nuclear Scandal Blame Dead Local Official. By Aaron Clark.  Stephen Stapczynski, and Shiho Takezawa  news,com,au October 3, 2019

  • Kansai Electric officials took $3 million in cash and gifts
  •  Payments came from deputy mayor of town hosting nuclear plant

Top Japanese utility executives who admitted to taking illicit payments related to their nuclear business sought to deflect blame onto a deceased local official and vowed to stay in their roles, potentially deepening the nation’s latest corporate governance scandal.

Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Chairman Makoto Yagi and President Shigeki Iwane spent more than three hours Wednesday detailing in a public briefing how they and 18 other executives received nearly 320 million yen ($3 million) in cash and gifts, including suits and gold, from a former deputy mayor in the western town Takahama, which hosts the company’s biggest nuclear plant. They didn’t return the payments because the official, who died in March at the age of 90, wielded influence and intimidated employees, they said.

The Kansai Electric payments are the latest-high profile exposure of corporate malfeasance in Japan, which include the arrest last year of Nissan Motor Co.’s chairman for concealing more than $140 million in compensation and Kobe Steel Ltd.’s indictment in 2018 for falsifying quality data. It also follows the acquittal last month of executives charged with negligence related to the Fukushima meltdown, which has loomed in the background of the nation’s worst nuclear scandal since the 2011 disaster…….

Nuclear Nerve

That the drama is playing out in the nuclear power industry touches a raw nerve in Japan, where the technology has been shunned since the trauma of Fukushima. Public opinion has consistently been opposed to restarting the nation’s reactor fleet, once the biggest source of atomic power in Asia, as trust in the both the industry and regulators hasn’t recovered………

Gold, Suits, Cash

The company also revealed new details Wednesday of the gifts and cash Moriyama gave to executives from 2006 to 2018. Satoshi Suzuki, director of the utility’s nuclear power division, received the most at 123.7 million yen, which included 500 grams of gold and 14 suits, as well as $35,000 in U.S. currency.

Kyodo News also reported that Yoshida Kaihatsu, a local company that paid Moriyama money that was funneled to officials, won contracts worth at least 2.5 billion yen for work at Kansai’s nuclear power plant. Moriyama was also a part-time adviser for a Kansai Electric unit from 1987 through December last year.

October 4, 2019 - Posted by | Japan, secrets,lies and civil liberties

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