The revelation that Kansai Electric Power Co. executives had received a total of ¥320 million in money and gifts from a former deputy mayor of a town hosting one of its nuclear power plants has raised suspicions of collusive ties between a nuclear plant operator and host municipality. Kepco insists that no favors were provided in return for the gifts, but the former deputy mayor had in turn been paid ¥300 million from a local construction firm that won at least ¥2.5 billion in Kepco's nuclear power plant-related contracts. The power company needs to disclose all relevant facts in the case, which casts doubts over transparency in the nuclear power business.

Eiji Moriyama, who died in March at the age of 90, was known as an influential figure in Takahama, Fukui Prefecture, who developed close ties with Kepco while serving as deputy mayor of the town — the site for the firm's Takahama nuclear power plant — for a decade through 1988. After retiring as a town official, he served as both executive and advisor to contractors of Kepco's nuclear power plant operation, and there are reports that he may have wielded influence in winning orders from the firm.

Moriyama's gift of money and expensive goods to Kepco executives reportedly came to light in a tax authorities' probe into a Takahama-based construction firm, which has multiplied its sales in recent years by winning contracts from Kepco, including ¥2.5 billion worth of business from 2015 and 2018. It was learned that the firm had paid ¥300 million as a "commission fee" for obtaining Kepco's orders to Moriyama, who in turn was found to have provided the money and gifts to the power company's executives. Moriyama, who had not reported the ¥300 million in income, is said to have told the tax authorities that he gave the gifts as a token of his appreciation for Kepco's support of the town.