Taisei, Kajima Found Guilty for Maglev Bid-Rigging

Society

Tokyo, March 1 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo District Court found Taisei Corp. <1801> and Kajima Corp. <1812>, as well as two former officials of the general contractors, guilty on Monday for their involvement in bid-rigging for the Chuo Shinkansen magnetic levitation ultrahigh-speed train project.

Former Taisei executive Takashi Okawa, 70, and former senior Kajima official Ichiro Osawa, 63, were both sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for three years, for violation of the antimonopoly law. The two companies were ordered to pay 250 million yen each in fines. Public prosecutors had sought a prison term of two years without suspension for the former officials and a fine of 300 million yen for each company.

The ruling was partly based on testimony by officials of Obayashi Corp. <1802> and Shimizu Corp. <1803>, two other major general contractors involved in the bid-rigging.

In the ruling, the Tokyo court, under the presidency of judge Hideo Nirei, recognized that the four companies shared their price estimates and conspired to adjust order receipts.

In the trial, the defendants pleaded not guilty, claiming that Central Japan Railway Co. <9022>, or JR Tokai, which will operate the maglev line, had chosen the contract winners beforehand and that there was no competition among the general contractors.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press