• Kyodo


The police on Tuesday sent to prosecutors their case on Nagoya Railroad Co., alleging the firm ordered an employee with an expired license to continue driving a bus after an accident and later tried to cover it up.

The cases on Ryokichi Takeuchi, a 56-year-old former executive of the firm, dubbed Meitetsu, and four other people were also sent to prosecutors. The five are suspected of falsifying a report to the regional transport bureau.

Takeuchi and three other people have already been indicted or had their cases sent to prosecutors for allegedly submitting a false report to the police. Takeuchi has left the company to take the blame for the scandal.

With the latest steps, the police have all but wrapped up their investigation. According to the National Police Agency, it is extremely rare for a major private railway operator to be named in a case that goes to prosecutors.

On Feb. 19, according to police, Meitetsu ordered the bus driver to continue driving after the accident took place until a replacement bus arrived, even though the firm by that time had become aware of the fact that the driver’s license had expired. The order was given by the chief of the firm’s Okazaki bus unit, they said.

Meitetsu, Takeuchi and others are also accused of falsely reporting to the Chubu Transport Bureau on June 13 that they learned of the license’s expiration after the driver returned to the office, in an attempt to conceal the order.

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