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OSAKA — Police turned over to prosecutors Tuesday their case against the operator of movie theme park Universal Studios Japan and two park employees in connection with the suspected use of an illegal amount of explosives for fireworks.

USJ Co. and the two employees — a 35-year-old former deputy section chief of USJ’s entertainment department and his 30-year-old successor, both in charge of fireworks displays — are suspected of violating the Explosives Control Law.

The company is owned by the city of Osaka, Universal Studios Inc. of the United States and other investors. The Osaka Municipal Government is the top shareholder, with a 25 percent stake.

Police are alleging that USJ Co. and the two employees allowed the use of more explosives than permitted by the Osaka Prefectural Government for the park’s Hollywood Magic attraction between May 1 and July 23.

Police believe 1,300 kg of explosives were used spread out over 47 occasions during this period, with an average of 4 kg more explosives than authorized being used each occasion.

Osaka Prefectural Police suspect the organized involvement of senior executives of USJ Co., but have so far been unable to prove that the employees were acting on orders from their superiors.

The two employees have owned up to the violation, saying they knew they were breaking the law. However, they were quoted by police as saying they were afraid to stop the show over the infringement.

The 35-year-old former deputy section chief said that the Japanese side was making preparations for a smaller show when, just two weeks before the park’s opening, a top U.S. official came up with a show that would use more explosives than the theme park sought permission to use. The U.S. official has denied this, police said.

They said the former deputy section chief knew the amount was illegal but looked the other way because canceling the show would prevent the park from carrying out its opening-day extravaganza.

Osaka Mayor Takafumi Isomura said he accepts the police action, adding, “I will impose guidance to prevent such an incident happening again.”

USJ Co. meanwhile issued a statement apologizing for the scandal and promising to take preventive steps.

The park, which opened March 31, 2001, has experienced a slew of scandals, including the use of expired foods in its restaurants, and serving untreated industrial water in its drinking fountains, which led to the resignation of Akira Sakata as president in October.

The number of visitors to USJ for the October-December period was down 37 percent from the same quarter of 2001, and the theme park is expected to report a loss for the business year through the end of March.

The sluggish performance of USJ, initially touted as a savior of the Kansai region’s economy, has had a wider-reaching effect, cutting visitor numbers at local hotels.

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