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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 October 17 - 23  > Investigate corruption over war supplies!
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2007 October 17 - 23 TOP3 [SDF]
editorial 

Investigate corruption over war supplies!

October 23, 2007
Former Vice Defense Minister Moriya maintained a cozy relation with a former executive of a trading house specializing in military equipment.

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

Moriya Takemasa, who was the vice defense minister until the end of August, maintained a cozy relation on golf courses and at restaurants with a former executive of “Yamada Corporation,” a trading house specializing in military- and aerospace-related equipment. The question involved is not just whether or not the former vice-minister has violated the Self-Defense Forces ethical code. The important thing is that the ministry’s top official had cozy ties with a businessman in military-related industries.

The Defense Ministry uses huge amounts of tax money every year for “defense” to procure new models of weapons. We must not overlook any collusive relationship between the Defense Ministry and military industries that distort “defense” policies.

Moriya was a career defense bureaucrat. It was unusual that this man held a top position as a bureaucrat for more than four years at a government office. Some even called him the “Emperor.” Still fresh in our memory is that when he resigned as vice-minister because of a rift with Koike Yuriko, Defense Minister at the time, he tried to use his influence on the prime minister’s office.

“Yamada Corporation” is a major defense contractor. The ex-executive of “Yamada Corporation” had single-handedly been in command of the company’s military-related contracts since its founding in 1969. Last year, he established his own company, and took away from “Yamada Corporation” an agency contract with a U.S. maker to deliver cargo transport aircraft (CX) engines to the Air SDF, which enabled him to maintain a connection with the Defense Ministry.

Moriya and the company ex-executive played golf together more than 100 times, played mahjong, and frequently had dinner. The ex-executive even offered favors to Moriya’s family members. All these are inappropriate behavior by a public official.

In return for such entertainment, Moriya is suspected of having given the former executive an advantage in deliveries of weapons to the SDF. Reportedly, Moriya lobbied the Defense Ministry to award a contract even to the new firm established by the ex-executive although the firm had no record of achievements yet. If this is true, it is without doubt a bribery case.

In addition, the ex-executive made political donations to politicians who have influence on defense policies. Cozy ties between Moriya and the ex-executive are literally the “tip of the iceberg,” and should be thoroughly unraveled as a payoff scandal involving politicians, a bureaucrat, and business circles surrounding war industries.

Collusive biddings for Defense Ministry- or SDF-ordered contracts at the initiative of government officials repeatedly become problems. Behind this background is that “defense” budgets are considered as a sanctuary, and order records to war industries have been withheld on the grounds that they are “defense secrets.”

While Moriya was in office, the SDF supported U.S. wars against Afghanistan and Iraq, and he promoted the plan to construct a new U.S. base in Okinawa as part of the U.S. military realignment. Fabrication of the amount of oil supplied from the Maritime SDF to U.S. ships, which is currently becoming a big scandal, was also done while Moriya was in office.

All allegations should be checked by every available means such as summoning him as a sworn witness to the Diet. - Akahata, October 23, 2007
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