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HOME  > Past issues  > 2009 December 23 - 2010 January 5  > High court upholds that ex-vice defense chief Moriya is guilty
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2009 December 23 - 2010 January 5 [POLITICS]

High court upholds that ex-vice defense chief Moriya is guilty

December 23, 2009
In a high-profile case of a bribery scandal involving the Defense Ministry (the Defense Agency at the time), the Tokyo High Court on December 22 upheld the lower court decision sentencing former Vice Defense Minister Moriya Takemasa to 30 months in prison for taking bribes and for perjury, and ordered him to pay a penalty of 12.5 million yen.

The Tokyo District Court had convicted Moriya for taking bribes from military equipment trader Yamada Corporation while he was a deputy defense minister between August 2003 and May 2006.

Yamada Corporation’s former executive Miyazaki Motonobu offered Moriya cash and free golf trips worth about 12.5 million yen.

The defense lawyer in the appeals court argued against the district court decision on the grounds that Moriya met with Miyazaki only 16 times among his about 500 meetings with arms industry representatives. The high court judge rejected this argument by citing Moriya’s statement that he had close relations with Miyazaki for 23 years.

The high court gave Moriya a severe punishment. However, given the fact that Japan’s military equipment purchases amounts to more than 2 trillion yen a year, this ruling is far from unraveling the structure of vested interests and the cozy relationship between politicians, the military, and industry.

Although Kyuma Fumio (former defense minister) and Nukaga Fukushiro (former finance/defense minister) were cited during the court hearing, their involvement and responsibilities in this bribery case have not been made clear.

Also, in the December 2 Tokyo District Court hearing on Akiyama Naoki, the 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, Akiyama was only charged with tax evasion involving Yamada Corporation and other firms concerned.

Now that the involvement in the defense procurement scandal by Kyuma, who was also the Center’s director and other defense-related politicians was referred to in the court hearing, a thorough investigation must be made into defense corruption.
- Akahata, December 23, 2009
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