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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 March 10 - 16  > JCP Yamazoe questions presidents of Tohokushinsha and NTT in regard to wining-and-dining scandals
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2021 March 10 - 16 TOP3 [POLITICS]

JCP Yamazoe questions presidents of Tohokushinsha and NTT in regard to wining-and-dining scandals

March 16, 2021
Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Yamazoe Taku on March 15 questioned President of Tohokushinsha Film Corp. Nakajima Shinya and President of NTT Sawada Jun, who were called to the Upper House Budget Committee as unsworn witnesses, about the recently-exposed wining-and-dining scandals involving the government communications administration.


The Broadcast Act in Japan limits the voting rights of foreign shareholders of Japanese broadcasters to less than 20%. When Tohokushinsha, where Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide's eldest son Seigo works as an executive, applied for a BS channel in October 2016, its foreign-held shares exceeded 20%.

Yamazoe asked, "Were you aware of a possible violation of the Broadcast Act at the time of the wining and dining of communications bureaucrats?"

Nakajima answered, "The former president and the former board director recognized that possibility," but he did not answer if Suga's son Seigo had known this by saying, "I'm not aware of that."

Yamazoe pointed out that the Tohokushinsha's application had been approved despite a possible infringement of the law provision, adding that a Communications Ministry panel had drafted a report in favor of Tohokushinsha.


NTT repeatedly entertained communications officials when PM Suga was moving to lower cellphone rates just as he had been promoting since he was still Chief Cabinet Secretary as well as when NTT was intending to reduce cellphone charges by making NTT Docomo, a mobile phone carrier, a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Sawada said that NTT had informed the Communications Ministry of the planned 100%-ownership of Docomo before NTT announced it publicly.

Yamazoe suspected that because the government and NTT had a shared mutual interest, the authorities, without validating the action in advance, had given approval to NTT to make Docomo its fully-owned subsidiary, which would most likely concentrate Docomo's profits only to NTT in return for a reduction in mobile phone bills.

Yamazoe criticized this preferential treatment as "blatant influence-peddling".

Past related article:
> Thorough probe needed to uncover truth behind lavish dinner given by NTT to communications official: Shii [March 5, 2021]
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