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JAPAN: Yamada gave additional 400,000 dollars to organization

Yomiuri Shimbun
January 8th, 2008

Defense contractor Yamada Corp. provided a total of 400,000 dollars in consultant fees to an executive director of a Japan-U.S. exchange organization between 2003 and 2005, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

It has been discovered that Yamada provided a large sum of money, generated from the firm's slush funds, to Naoki Akiyama, an executive director of the Japan-U.S. Center for Peace and Cultural Exchange, in connection with contracts that Yamada won from the former Defense Agency.

Including this 400,000 dollars, Yamada has handed over a total of more than 170 million yen to Akiyama's associates.

Akiyama was questioned Tuesday as an unsworn witness at the House of Councillors Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

According to sources, the 400,000 dollars was provided by Yamada International Corp., Yamada's U.S. local affiliate, to firms and other organizations related to Akiyama.

Osamu Akiyama, former president of Yamada International, said during an interrogation by the special investigation squad of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office, "We provided 100,000 dollars to 200,000 dollars to Akiyama-related firms every year."

Money from Yamada International allegedly reached a total of about 400,000 dollars over three years since 2003, he was quoted as saying.

One of the firms to which Osamu Akiyama transferred money was Los Angeles-based Add-Back International Corp., for which Naoki Akiyama serves as an adviser.

The firm's Japanese branch is located in a Tokyo condominium previously owned by Naoki Akiyama. Its Tokyo office is housed in a condominium in Chiyoda Ward, where the Japan-U.S. Center for Peace and Cultural Exchange also is headquartered.

A civil lawsuit involving Add-Back ruled that the firm ostensibly dealt with construction materials, but also as a defense consultant service provider and as such, had a close connection with the center.

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