Guilty Ruling Upheld for Taisei, Kajima over Maglev Bid-Rigging


Tokyo, March 2 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo High Court on Thursday upheld a lower court's guilty ruling for Taisei Corp. <1801> and Kajima Corp. <1812> for bid-rigging over the Chuo Shinkansen magnetic levitation train project.

The high court, presided over by Judge Toshikazu Ishii, dismissed an appeal filed by the defense against the Tokyo District Court ruling, which ordered the two major general contractors to pay 250 million yen each in fines and sentenced former Taisei executive Takashi Okawa, 72, and former senior Kajima official Ichiro Osawa, 65, each to 18 months in prison, suspended for three years.

In the appeal trial, the defense claimed that Central Japan Railway Co. <9022>, or JR Tokai, which will operate the maglev line, had decided to award contracts to certain contractors and that therefore there was no competition.

The judge rejected the claim, saying, "Although (JR Tokai) had to obtain cooperation from four companies with technical capabilities, it was careful not to give advantages to certain companies for future competition. So it cannot be said that (the railway company) had decided on the contractors."

According to the ruling, Okawa and Osawa, in conspiracy with officials of two other major general contractors--Obayashi Corp. <1802> and Shimizu Corp. <1803>, restricted competition by prearranging contract winners and informing each other of their planned bid prices for three construction sections between April 2014 and August 2015.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press