Consultants Indicted in Japan for Paying Bribes in Vietnam

Following on the heels of Japanese trading company Marubeni’s recent admission that it violated the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, again a Japanese company is in the crosshairs of anti-corruption regulators, but this time in Japan, not the United States. On July 10, 2014, the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office indicted the railway consulting firm Japan Transportation Consultants (JTC) and three of its current and former executives on charges of paying bribes to foreign officials in Vietnam. JTC allegedly paid a total of JPY 69.9 million (approximately USD 690,000) to various Vietnamese government officials in order to win consulting contracts related to a rail project funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)–the agency responsible for administering the Japanese government’s Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) projects.

JAPANESE ANTI-BRIBERY LAW -

Although Japanese law prohibits the bribery of both domestic and foreign public officials, Japan’s commitment to enforcement of its foreign anti-bribery laws has been criticized. The indictment of JTC for foreign bribery may signal that a more vigorous enforcement attitude is emerging among Japanese authorities.

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