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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 May 21 - 27  > Former military equipment trader says he ‘felt pressured’ by ex-defense chief Kyuma
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2008 May 21 - 27 [SCANDAL]

Former military equipment trader says he ‘felt pressured’ by ex-defense chief Kyuma

May 23, 2008
A former managing director of a military equipment trading firm in his testimony under oath in the Diet stated that he “felt pressured” by the then defense chief, Kyuma Fumio, at a time when arms manufacturers were scrambling for contracts for Japan’s military buildup.

Miyazaki Motonobu, a former executive of Yamada Corporation, a latecomer as an arms dealer, testified before the House of Councilors Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on May 22. He had been arrested on suspicion of being involved in a bribery scandal in defense contracts.

Miyazaki’s testimony revealed a glimpse into the corrupt relations behind the Japan-U.S. arms industry over an annual 5 trillion yen budget that included the munitions industry, arms traders, politicians, and fixers.

He also admitted that Yamada Corporation has supplied huge amounts of money to Akiyama Naoki, the executive director of the Japan-U.S. Center for Peace and Cultural Exchange, a go-between for Japanese and U.S. military industries and Japanese political circles.

In reply to Japanese Communist Party representative Inoue Satoshi, Akiyama stated, “In 2006, at a party at the Japanese restaurant ‘Sakuma’ in Tokyo’s Akasaka district, Mr. Kyuma said to me, ‘The founder of Yamada Corporation together with his son visited me. They are nice, aren’t they?’ I took these words as pressure on me concerning transactions.”

At that time, Miyazaki had just established “Nihon Mirise Corp.” after quitting Yamada Corporation, a rival firm over a contract for engines for the Air Self- Defense Force’s next generation transport aircraft (CX) that the Defense Agency (now Defense Ministry) was going to purchase from the U.S. corporation General Electric.

Nihon Mirise was awarded the CX contract.

In answer to a Democratic Party representative, Miyazaki said, “I later heard that (defense) minister Kyuma instructed the ministry’s aircraft division director to help to arrange a Nihon Mirise contract with GE Japan.

Responding to questions by JCP Inoue, Miyazaki said there was a rumor that Yamada Corporation boasted of having Kyuma as its “guardian” and that it can “utilize politicians at its will for money,” revealing that illegal money may have been used to buy the influence of a defense minister.

Miyazaki also said he remembers attending a party with Nukaga Fukushiro, former DA chief and incumbent minister of finance, and Moriya Takemasa, former vice defense minister, were present.

He said that he paid 100 thousand dollars a year as a consultancy fee to a U.S.-based company that Akiyama worked with.

He also admitted that his firm has paid 100 million yen as ’negotiation money’ (to Akiyama) in the ministry’s order for poison gas disposal at Karita Port in Fukuoka Prefecture.

At a news conference later in the day, both JCP House of Representatives Diet Policy Committee chair Kokuta Keiji and Inoue said that summoning former defense chief Kyuma and fixer Akiyama to testify before the Diet is indispensable to a thorough investigation into the defense ministry scandal.
- Akahata, May 23, 2008
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