Friday, February 3, 2012

Indictment of contractors exposes illicit work at nuke plants in Japan

FUKUOKA -- Three people and two firms were indicted Feb. 2 on charges of dispatching a worker to the Oi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukui Prefecture under a falsified contract in violation of the Employment Security Law.

Those indicted by the Kokura Local Public Prosecutors Office are Hideo Ichise, 58, of Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, Yoshimi Tomita, 59, of Maizuru, Kyoto Prefecture, and Kanae Ikegami, 36, of Kitakyushu's Wakamatsu Ward. Prosecutors also indicted Taihei Dengyo Kaisha Ltd., a Tokyo-based power plant construction and maintenance firm, and Takada Kiko, a plumbing firm in Takahama, Fukui Prefecture.

The Kokura Summary Court on Feb. 2 fined Ichise and Tomita and the two firms 500,000 yen each and Ikegami 250,000 yen. Ichise is the Fukui business manager of Taihei Dengyo, and he previously served as the firm's Oi operation chief. Tomita is president of Takada Kiko while Ikegami is an executive of Dream, previously known as Soshin Kogyo, a plumbing and housing equipment firm. She is also the wife of a gang leader with ties to the Kitakyushu-based crime syndicate Kudo-kai.

"Many documents showing illegal labor were found, one after another, during our search. They proved many years of shady deals," says a senior officer with the Fukuoka Prefectural Police. The case sheds light on not just one firm or one nuclear power plant but the nuclear power industry as a whole. Read More