Izui denies bribing, is mum on fraud

Osaka-based oil dealer Junichi Izui pleaded not guilty May 26 to bribing a former official of Kansai International Airport Co., and postponed entering a plea on his fraud charge.

In his second trial hearing before the Tokyo District Court, Izui, 60, owner of the oil wholesaling company Izui Sekiyu Shokai, conceded to having entertained and given gifts to Tsuneharu Hattori, 64, a former president of the semigovernmental airport company, but claimed he had no intention of bribing him and didn’t receive favors.

Izui was indicted for giving a bribe — gifts and entertainment — worth about 2.2 million yen to Hattori in a bid to have the airport’s sanitation contract awarded to a firm with which he is affiliated. “It is correct that I entertained (him) with wining and dining, and gave him cash and other gifts,” Izui said. “But I did not receive special favors regarding the (airport’s) purchase of special garbage or selection of sanitation subcontractors.”

He added that he gave gifts to Hattori out of a “personal association” with him, and that he knew nothing about rules that ban bribes to airport company officials. His lawyers said Izui liked associating with the famous and powerful, adding that the gift-giving was motivated by a desire to prove his social standing. Hattori, a former vice minister at the Transport Ministry, will be arraigned May 29 before the district court on a bribery charge.

In the previous hearing on April 24, Izui admitted to having evaded 331 million yen in taxes from January 1992 till December 1994 by failing to report about 665 million yen in income. He also was indicted for allegedly defrauding Mitsui Mining Co. of 2.39 billion yen in a series of oil deals involving several companies, including Mitsubishi Oil Co. Izui said he would postpone his plea on the fraud charge. He did not elaborate.