Sunday, October 25, 2020

Japan’s Kansai Electric admits nuclear executives’ acceptance of gifts in bribery case

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Japan’s Kansai Electric Power Co. admitted on Wednesday the money scandal of two nuclear executives receiving more than 100 million yen (929,000 U.S. dollars) respectively as gifts from a former official of a town hosting one of its nuclear plants.

Twenty people at Kansai Electric received 318.45 million yen (2.94 million dollars) worth of gifts, according to the company.

The largest amount, 123.67 million yen (1.14 million dollars) went to managing director Satoshi Suzuki, followed by 110.57 million yen (1.02 million dollars) for former deputy president Hideki Toyomatsu, the company said.

Speaking at a press conference in Osaka, President Shigeki Iwane and Chairman Makoto Yagi said they do not plan to step down from their posts at the company.

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“It is my largest responsibility to exercise leadership together with (Iwane) and make utmost efforts in pursuing the cause,” Yagi said.

The late former deputy mayor of Takahama Eiji Moriyama’s offering of gifts escalated since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan, which triggered the Fukushima nuclear crisis, Yagi said.

According to the company, the acceptance of gifts from Moriyama, who died at the age of 90 in March this year, started in 2006 and continued through one month before his death.

According to a report released on Wednesday, Iwane himself had received gifts worth 1.5 million yen (13,845 dollars) from Moriyama.

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Kansai Electric said Yagi accepted 8.59 million yen (79,286 dollars) worth of gifts from the late deputy mayor and was subjected to a 20 percent cut in remuneration for one month.

The company also admitted that the gifts from Moriyama included U.S. dollars, gold coins, and gift coupons for tailored suits.

Kansai Electric said it will set up an independent panel to investigate the scandal involving 20 officials and also Moriyama, and then decide what to do after receiving a report.

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