• Kyodo News

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The Fair Trade Commission searched the offices of six major office furniture makers Thursday over alleged bid-rigging in connection with orders from the Air Self-Defense Force.

The antimonopoly watchdog also sent officials to the First ASDF Depot in Chiba Prefecture and other ASDF offices to determine if the service orchestrated the bid-rigging.

The six companies are Uchida Yoko Co., Kokuyo Furniture Co., Itoki Corp., Okamura Corp., Lion Office Products Corp. and Plus Corp.

The firms and their sales agents are suspected of rigging bids for ASDF orders for office furniture, including desks, chairs and bookshelves, since 2005. Former senior ASDF brass have been given jobs at some of the six firms.

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