A former president of Kansai International Airport Co. was sentenced Tuesday to 1 1/2 years in prison, suspended for three years, by the Tokyo District Court for accepting bribes worth 2.16 million yen from an oil wholesaler.

Tsuneharu Hattori, 65, also a former vice transport minister, was ordered by the court to pay 1.74 million yen in fines. The court also ordered the confiscation of a 300-gram gold bar worth 420,000 yen — just one of the gifts accepted by Hattori.

The ruling said that Hattori received the gold bar, a painting worth 1 million yen, as well as cash and other gifts from Junichi Izui — an Osaka-based oil wholesaler — between 1994 and 1996, as rewards for helping a company win a cleaning contract at the airport. The company was headed by an acquaintance of Izui.

This was in spite of the fact that Hattori, as a public-corporation executive, was subject to bribery regulations.

Presiding Judge Kohei Ikeda said that despite his responsibilities, the defendant unhesitatingly allowed himself to be entertained and accepted expensive gifts from a company that had hoped to do business at the airport.

The court said Hattori’s conduct should be severely criticized. “Throughout the trial, he has justified his conduct without trying to seriously face his responsibility in this case,” Ikeda said in the ruling.

In the sentence, the court considered Izui’s tactical approach to Hattori and Hattori’s contribution to the Transport Ministry and the company, Ikeda added.

According to the ruling, Hattori accepted bribes from Izui between 1994 and 1996, in such forms as entertainment at expensive restaurants in Kyoto and gifts such as the 1 million yen painting. Hattori was wined and dined on four occasions at restaurants to the tune of 340,000 yen, and also accepted 300,000 yen in cash and gift coupons worth 100,000 yen, the ruling said.

In return, Hattori favored a business owner acquainted with Izui in his selection of subcontractors for the airport’s cleaning work. He also used his influence in the consideration of the use of plastic bags, which Izui’s company planned to develop, at the airport, according to the ruling.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.