• Kyodo

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Police arrested three senior officials of a failed Japanese bank and four of its clients Sunday on charges related to questionable lending practices.

Police said the Ishikawa Bank officials are suspected of lending about 5.7 billion yen to a Tokyo-based business group without sufficient collateral in September 2000. The second-tier regional bank, based in Kanazawa, the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture, went under in December 2001.

Arrested were 67-year-old Shigeru Takagi, who was president of Ishikawa Bank at the time of the alleged offenses; 63-year-old Mutsumi Kawaguchi, then senior managing director; and 42-year-old Michihiko Fujita, then head of the bank’s Tokyo office.

Kawaguchi was president of the bank when it collapsed, while Fujita is now the personnel department chief.

The bank is now transferring its operations to other local financial institutions.

The four clients arrested include 66-year-old Tomokazu Mishima, chairman of ad agency National Enterprise, which controls a golf course operator known as Country Club The First, located in Kisarazu, Chiba Prefecture.

The three others are 66-year-old Hidehiko Miyata, a senior National Enterprise official; businessman Shunji Maekawa, 56; and 47-year-old Koichi Komoda, president of the golf course operator.

The seven were held on suspicion of breach of trust violating the Commercial Code.

The 5.7 billion yen is believed to have been funneled to National Enterprise via the golf course operator, according to investigative sources.

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