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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 October 21 - 27  > Panel members accepted 13 million yen from Henoko-related works contractors
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2015 October 21 - 27 [POLITICS]

Panel members accepted 13 million yen from Henoko-related works contractors

October 21, 2015
Akahata on October 21 reported that four environmental experts of an Okinawa Defense Bureau panel had received 13 million yen in donations or compensation from corporations awarded public works contracts related to the U.S. base construction in the Henoko district of Nago City in Okinawa.

Okinawa Governor Onaga Takeshi expressed disapproval over the revelation and called into question the reliability of the environmental impact study done by this governmental panel.

Professor Emeritus of Ryukyu University Higashi Kiyoji said, “There is no longer any doubt that Governor Onaga’s decision to cancel the Henoko landfill approval is completely the right thing to do. The panel should immediately be dissolved.”

Higashi was once the vice chairman of this committee but he resigned after attending its first meeting because, he said, “It was a group formed to just endorse the go-ahead to be given for Henoko reclamation work without discussing anything about the environmental impact of the work.”

The four experts who accepted the money serve on the 13-member committee examining environmental impact assessments of the construction of the U.S. Henoko facility.

Professor at Kyoto University Arai Nobuaki received eight million yen from IDEA Consultants, Inc.; Professor at the Graduate School of the University of Tokyo Kayane Hajime, two million yen from major marine engineering company Penta-Ocean Construction Co., Ltd. and 500,000 yen from construction consulting firm Echo Corporation; Professor at Yokohama National University Nakamura Yoshiyuki, 500,000 yen from Toyo Construction Co., Ltd.; and Hara Takeshi, two million yen in executive compensation from Global Environment College.

These companies where retired defense officials enter as executives are often awarded defense contracts.

The data the Defense Ministry submitted in February 2012 to Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Kasai Akira show that IDEA won nine public works contracts amounting to 5.2 billion yen which accounted for more than 60% of the total value of orders pertaining to environmental impact assessments. The head of Global Environment College is the chairman of IDEA. Penta-Ocean won the Henoko reclamation works contract. A Penta-Ocean employee was summarily indicted in the past on charges of bid-rigging schemes over civil engineering works projects at the U.S. Iwakini and Sasebo bases. Toyo prepares executive positions for retired defense bureaucrats or retired Self-Defense Force officials. This company also has a history of engaging in bid-rigging scandals involving the U.S. Sasebo base.
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