Obayashi, Shimizu Fined over Maglev Project Conspiracy

Society

Tokyo, Oct. 22 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo District Court ordered major Japanese general contractors Obayashi Corp. <1802> and Shimizu Corp. <1803> on Monday to pay fines for their involvement in bid-rigging for an ultrahigh-speed magnetic levitation train project of Central Japan Railway Co. <9022>, better known as JR Tokai.

Obayashi was fined 200 million yen and Shimizu 180 million yen for violating the antimonopoly law, against public prosecutors' demand for 200 million yen for each company.

"The bid-rigging culture appears to be deep-rooted," Presiding Judge Takumi Suzuki said. The two Tokyo-based companies admitted to the allegations against them.

The judge said that senior officials of the contractors communicated closely with each other to determine the winners of contracts related to the maglev project in advance and exchanged information on estimates on contract prices and other matters.

"The two leading general contractors' illegal practice of prearranging the winners for the national-scale project has had a major impact on society," the judge said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press