NPO headed by ex-defense chief suspected of defrauding Tepco

Kyodo

A former employee of a nonprofit organization headed by former Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma was arrested Saturday for allegedly swindling about ¥12 million from Tokyo Electric Power Co. by filing a bogus claim for damages from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, police said.

Kazuaki Shindo, 42, is suspected of conspiring with three others including Shigeko Nemoto, 52, to defraud Tepco by submitting a document claiming that Nemoto’s company was forced to cancel a number of events from April to May 2012 due to radiation from the meltdowns, the Metropolitan Police Department said.

The NPO was launched in August 2011 to assist victims of the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster. The police are considering questioning Kyuma, 73, on a voluntary basis, investigative sources said.

According to the police, the NPO represented companies in disaster-hit areas seeking damages from Tepco. The operator of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant has paid more than ¥100 million in compensation to more than 10 companies so far.

Shindo denied the allegation but the other three admitted to the charges, the police said.