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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 October 24 - 30  > 13 former defense officials get positions in Yamada Corp.
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2007 October 24 - 30 [SDF]

13 former defense officials get positions in Yamada Corp.

October 26, 2007
Yamada Corporation, an arms trading firm which is now under fire for entertaining Defense Ministry officials, has given 13 retired defense agency officials executive positions.

Japanese Communist Party representative Inoue Satoshi revealed this fact on October 25 at a House of Councilors Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense meeting and demanded an end to such a corrupt structure.

Yamada Corporation is suspected of distorting the nation’s defense policy by entertaining Moriya Takeharu, vice defense minister at the time.

The JCP lawmaker demanded that the House of Councilors committee summon Moriya along with an ex-executive of Yamada Corporation who had a cozy relationship with Moriya and the company’s founder, to be forced to answer questions under oath.

Citing reports that Yamada Corporation sent expensive beef as a gift to many officials and employees of the then Defense Agency and that it actually used about 92 million yen a year to entertain them, Inoue said an investigation must be conducted to ascertain whether officials other than Moriya had been entertained by Yamada Corporation.

Defense Minister Ishiba Shigeru said, “We will investigate the allegations.”

Inoue also pointed out that cozy ties between military contractors and the Defense Ministry have increased through the so-called “amakudari” (parachuting) practice of retired government officials taking executive positions in military industries as well as through companies entertaining defense officials.

The former Yamada Corporation executive in question had also “parachuted” to that position from the Defense Ministry. A House of Representatives Research Office report shows that as of April 2006, 13 former defense officials currently hold positions at Yamada Corporation, accounting for 8.9 percent of the total number of company employees.

At the same committee meeting, Senior Vice Defense Minister Eto Akinori revealed that between January 18, 2002 when Moriya became the defense bureau chair and October 24, 2007, Yamada Corporation was awarded 151 defense contracts (about 23 billion yen worth), including 146 (about 22 billion yen worth) without competitive bids. This means that Yamada Corporation received 97 percent of its contracts without competition.

Inoue demanded that retired government officials be banned from “parachuting” to private sector positions, a practice that has caused corrupt relations between ministries and companies. - Akahata, October 26, 2007
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