Panel seeks to indict ex-Kansai Electric execs over scandals

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Kansai Electric Power Co.’s headquarters in Osaka

OSAKA (Jiji Press) — A Japanese panel of citizens has ruled that three former executives of Kansai Electric Power Co. should be indicted over gift and pay scandals, it was learned Monday.

The three are Shosuke Mori, 81, and Makoto Yagi, 72, both former chairman of the Osaka-based power company, as well as former President Shigeki Iwane, 69.

Following the decision, dated July 7, the special investigation squad of the Osaka District Public Prosecutors Office will launch a reinvestigation soon.

The three are among the nine former Kansai Electric executives who were put under the scrutiny of the Osaka No. 2 Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution after escaping indictment over the scandals.

As for the remaining six, the committee decided that it is unreasonable for them not to be indicted.

The three had been accused of embezzlement for receiving money from Kansai Electric in the name of pay as part-time employees after they left their positions, in order to cover the additional taxes they had to pay due to the gift scandal.

In the scandal, which came to light in 2019, many Kansai Electric officials were found to have received cash and goods from the late Eiji Moriyama, former deputy mayor of Takahama, a town in the central Japan prefecture of Fukui. The town hosts the company’s Takahama nuclear power plant.

The three former executives were also accused of violating the companies law by being secretly compensated for part of the pay cuts they took for poor business results following the 2011 nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

The prosecution inquest panel said that the three overstepped the authority granted to them as they decided among them how much compensation they would get.

The panel also ruled that it is unreasonable for the three not to be indicted for allegedly ordering projects to companies linked with the deputy mayor and receiving money and goods in return.

In November last year, the special squad decided not to indict any of the nine former Kansai Electric executives on six charges cited in criminal complaints against them.

In its decision, the panel requested that the public prosecutors find out what had happened in the scandals through compulsory investigations and interviews with those involved.