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Ex-Toyota affiliate exec held over graft

Kyodo

Police have arrested a former senior executive of Futaba Industrial Co., a major car parts maker affiliated with Toyota Motor Corp., for allegedly bribing an official in China to overlook an irregularity at a subsidiary’s plant in Guangdong province.

Takehisa Terada, 68, a former senior managing director with Futaba Industrial, based in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of breaking the Unfair Competition Prevention Law.

The Aichi Prefectural Police said Terada has owned up to the allegations.

“I passed on tens of millions of yen in bribes to Chinese government officials on a total of 16 occasions from around 2002,” he was quoted as saying.

The police are focusing on a 2007 case because the statute of limitations has not yet expired. At the time, Terada was president of the Futaba subsidiary that runs the factory in Guangdong.

Terada allegedly paid a local government official around 30,000 Hong Kong dollars, worth around ¥450,000 at the time, and a women’s handbag in mid-December 2007, to persuade authorities to overlook an irregularity at the plant and not report it to the relevant state agency.

In November 2006, an audit by Guangdong customs authorities found that the factory had relocated without permission a machine that benefited from preferential duties, to another plant.

The factory could have faced severe penalties, including a work suspension, but got away with just a fine, according to investigators.

Terada served as Futaba Industrial’s director in charge of office equipment operations in China from June 2003 to May 2009. Starting from July 2004, he was also president of two local companies, including a parts assembly firm in Guangdong.