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Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy, Maritime Self-Defence force face bribery scandal

Posted : July 6, 2024 at 7:17 pm IST by ManaTeluguMovies

Tokyo, July 6 (IANS) Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries has been implicated in a scandal for allegedly using slush funds to purchase goods for the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) submarine crew members, according to local media reports.

The company, responsible for constructing and maintaining parts of the JMSDF submarine fleet, allegedly manipulated subcontractors to fabricate false transactions, securing billions of yen in secret funds used to bribe submarine crew members, reports Xinhua news agency on Friday.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries has admitted to the Osaka Regional Taxation Bureau that its Kobe Shipyard’s maintenance division has been directing subcontractors to create fictitious transactions for the past 20 years.

The funds obtained were transferred to subcontractor accounts as secret funds, used to purchase personal items for submarine crew members or for entertainment expenses.

JMSDF submarines submitted lists of needed items to Kawasaki Heavy Industries’ maintenance division, Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported, noting that the maintenance division then instructed subcontractors to use the secret funds to buy the items, which were subsequently handed over to the respective submarine personnel.

The Osaka Regional Taxation Bureau is investigating Kawasaki Heavy Industries.

Japan’s Defence Minister Minoru Kihara on Friday announced that a special investigation into the matter has been launched, besides the current investigation conducted by the Osaka Regional Taxation Bureau.

Tetsuo Maeda, a local commentator, criticised the use of taxpayer money, which was meant for enhancing defence capabilities, being misappropriated by the JMSDF.

“The misuse of funds, originating from the Defence Ministry and submarine construction and maintenance budgets, is intolerable for taxpayers,” Maeda said.