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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 April 16 - 22  > Ex-defense official’s corruption trial begins
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2008 April 16 - 22 [SCANDAL]

Ex-defense official’s corruption trial begins

April 22, 2008
The Tokyo District Court on April 21 opened the hearing in a trial of former Defense Vice-Minister Moriya Takemasa who is charged with accepting bribes from military equipment trading house Yamada Corporation and giving false statements when he was subpoenaed to answer questions in the Diet.

Moriya pleaded guilty to both charges. Three other defendants, including a former executive of the arms trading firm, also acknowledged that they had offered bribes to the ex-official.

In their opening argument, the prosecutor exposed the corrupt relations between Moriya and Yamada Corporation, but stopped short of referring to the possible involvement of certain politicians and the structure of special interests exploiting Japan’s arms buildup policy.

Ichida comments on the opening hearing

At a news conference in the Diet later in the day, Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi commented on the opening hearing as follows:

We hope that justice will prevail in the case against Moriya.

The crux of the matter involved is that there have been structurally collusive relations between the Defense Ministry, politicians, and the arms industry. Moriya’s case is not an isolated one.

The need now is to unravel politicians’ involvement in the corruption scandal concerning huge interests associated with the country’s arms buildup.

Behind the background of bill-padding and free-contracts without restrictions in addition to briberies is the system of giving a large number of retired officials of the Defense Ministry and the Self-Defense Forces executive posts in the war industry. This has not been touched on at all in the court hearing.

Furthermore, the person who is believed to be the key liaison between politicians and the war industry, namely Akiyama Naoki (executive director of the Japan-US Center for Peace and Cultural Exchange), and former Defense Minister Kyuma Fumio will go to the United States in May with many other Dietmembers and arms industry leaders to meet with officials of the Pentagon and the U.S. arms industry.

Getting rid of such a mechanism will help prevent similar scandals from occurring again. The JCP will raise this question in the Diet while the case is being heard in court.
- Akahata, April 22, 2008
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