• Kyodo

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A former Japanese executive of major tire maker Bridgestone Corp. has agreed to plead guilty to his involvement in automobile parts price fixing in the United States, the Department of Justice said Wednesday.

Yusuke Shimasaki has agreed to serve 18 months in prison and pay a $20,000 fine for colluding to rig bids for and fix or control the prices of anti-vibration rubber parts sold to Japanese automakers in the United States from 2001 to 2008, according to the department.

The department said the parts were sold to Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co. and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. as well as some of their affiliates and suppliers in the United States and other countries.

A U.S. federal grand jury also indicted on Tuesday three others in connection with the case — one current and two former Japanese executives of Bridgestone.

In February, the tire maker pleaded guilty to participating in the scheme and agreed to pay a $425 million fine.

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