JAPON – UN JOURNALISTE POURSUIVI EN DIFFAMATION POUR UN ARTICLE SUR L’INDUSTRIE NUCLÉAIRE

JAPON – UN JOURNALISTE POURSUIVI EN DIFFAMATION POUR UN ARTICLE SUR L’INDUSTRIE NUCLÉAIRE

« 67 millions de yens (plus de 600 000 euros) de dommages et intérêts » : c’est la coquette somme que le journaliste japonais Minoru Tanaka risque de devoir verser à un entrepreneur du secteur nucléaire pour avoir publié un article sur de possibles connexions entre des personnalités politiques et des acteurs clés de l’industrie du nucléaire et de la finance au Japon. Freelance de 52 ans auteur de nombreuses enquêtes concernant l’industrie nucléaire, Tanaka n’est pas en mesure de faire face à une telle demande de dommages-intérêts.

L’affaire a commencé ainsi. Le 16 décembre 2011, l’hebdomadaire japonais Shukan Kinyoubi publie un article titré de façon peu amène, “Le dernier magouilleur, M. Shiro Shirakawa – il prend sa part du gâteau nucléaire de TEPCO » [1]. L’enquête porte sur les agissements opaques du « village nucléaire ». L’expression désigne les acteurs clés du secteur au Japon. En réalité, l’article vise nomémment le président d’une entreprise de systèmes de sécurité pour centrales nucléaires, Shiro Shirakawa. Ce dernier est accusé par l’auteur de l’article d’avoir profité de connexions avec des personnalités clés de l’industrie du nucléaire, tel que l’ancien président de l’entreprise TEPCO, et des figures politiques, comme le député Kamei Shizuka, pour obtenir des bénéfices indus depuis l’incident nucléaire de mars 2011.

La plupart des journalistes freelance et étrangers considèrent que la plainte à l’encontre de Minoru Tanaka (l’hebdomadaire Shukan Kinyoubi n’a pas été assigné en diffamation) est une tentative de dissuasion envers tout journaliste ayant à l’idée d’enquêter sur l’industrie nucléaire et la gestion de l’incident de la centrale Fukushima-Daiichi. Le 31 août 2012, une conférence de presse est organisée par le Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan à Tokyo, afin de donner la possibilité à Minoru d’exposer les poursuites dont il fait l’objet. Aucun journaliste membre de kisha clubs (clubs de la presse officiels) n’y participe. Son statut de journaliste freelance, une catégorie discriminée et exclue du système des kisha clubs, empêche Tanaka de bénéficier du soutien de la profession et le rend ainsi plus vulnérable.

Des journalistes freelance ou indépendants, à l’instar de Yu Terasawa, Michiyoshi Hatakeyama, Yuichi Sato, ou Ryuichi Hirokawa, sont régulièrement harcelés sur la question du nucléaire. Le gouvernement, de pair avec TEPCO et l’industrie, semble craindre qu’une couverture des conséquences de Fukushima et du mécontentement d’une partie de la population puisse mettre en cause sa responsabilité et inciter davantage à l’ouverture d’un débat national sur la question énergétique dans le pays.

Avant même le début du procès de Minoru Tanaka, qui s’est ouvert le 7 mai 2012, ce dernier a reçu une lettre d’avertissement de Shiro Shirakawa, attirant son attention sur son insolvabilité dans le cas où il serait jugé coupable de diffamation. Depuis, les audiences se succèdent et épuisent chaque fois davantage le journaliste. D’après Minoru Tanaka, le procès intenté contre lui est l’exemple type de ce qu’on appelle communément “SLAPP”, “Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation” (“Poursuite stratégique contre la mobilisation publique” ou “Poursuite bâillon”), impliquant d’un coté une personne qui possède de nombreux avantages par ses connexions politico-économiques au sein de l’industrie nucléaire, et de l’autre, un journaliste isolé.

The last big fixer, Shiro Shirakawa, gets his share of the TEPCO nuclear cake publié le 16 décembre 2011 dans Shukan KinyobiTélécharger l’article complet (pdf).

THE LAST FIXER

A mystery letter (怪文書) was distributed at the House of Representative Building 1 towards the end of May in 2011. It was titled, “WANTED: The Transporter of Nuclear Industry Bribes” and printed on A4 sized paper. Who the heck is the person it was written about? Under the headline of the mystery letter was a copy of the ID badge of the deceased 三塚博衆院議員(Mitsuka Hiroshi-LDP)’s personal secretary, in a collage. The person being criticized in the letter was a man called  “The Last Big Fixer” aka Shirakawa Shiro.

“Ishihara Bank” also involved in huge loans

The house of Mr. Shirakawa is like a fortress in the middle of Shibuya, surrounded by concrete walls. There are few windows in the 2 story building but plenty of security cameras. His house was built in 2008 by Nishimatsu Kensetsu (Nishimatsu Construction). The building and 300 tsubo (坪)of land is owned under the name Nihon Tekusa (日本テクサ). The firm is 100% financed by Nyutekku (株式会社ニューテック)which can be said to be the center of a group of companies headed by Shirakawa.

On the front gate of Shirakawa’s home, the placard reads in capitalized English letters SHIRAKAWA, it is said to be his de facto home. On May 31st of 2010, a 4,000,000,000 yen 抵当権 (mortgage) was placed on the dwelling. Nishimatsu Construction put down the mortgage and the debtor was listed as Nyutekku. This took place on the same day. Nishimatsu (essentially) made Shirakawa admit to borrowing 4,000,000,000 and held the home and property as collateral. In addition, 48 items related to Mr. Shirakawa were offered as collateral. However, on October 13th of 2011, Nishimatsu’s mortgage was erased. Nyutekku said that within roughly a year and half, “All was repaid.” (Nyutekku General Affairs).

On the same day (October 13th), Shinginko Tokyo, using the same property as collateral, made a provisional registration of a loan of 7 million yen to Nyutekku. (The records state the loan contract was made on September 28th, 2011*predating the registration.) There were six items of collateral for the loan but their total value was less than the value of the loan.
What is Shin Tokyo Ginko? Many know it as the bank that Tokyo Governor Ishihara created. Within three years of opening, the majority of it’s unsecured loans turned bad or were eaten up by the Japanese underworld, resulting in 100,000,000,000 yen of non-performing loans. A huge amount of taxes was thrown away. Still, it’s a surprise that the central company of this fixer was able to get such a huge loan from the bank.

Nyutekku General Affairs had this to say about the flow of money, “The money from Nishimatsu was only used for our company business” “We never, for any reason, paid money to a Diet member.” Concerning the provisional mortgage of 700,000,000 yen on the property from Shin Tokyo Ginko, they answered, “It was a temporary measure until a more substantial form of collateral could be found,” adding that after the 10th of December, the provisional mortgage had been erased (dealt with).  Nishimatsu says, “There were no compliance issues with the loan.” The Shin Tokyo Ginko said, “We cannot discuss individual transactions.”

Rokkasho HQ for Nyutekku

What kind of company is Nyutekku? Their headquarters are located in Aomori Prefecture Rokkasho Village. They have branch offices in Tokyo Minato-Ward Nishishinbashi. With the aid of the former head of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, starting in 1985, they created a company called Nihon Anzen Hosho Keibi, which acted as an inspector and maintenance provider for equipment at nuclear facilities.

The company changed it’s name to Nyutekku in December of 2001. According to a civilian credit ratings firm, for the 2004 March fiscal period, the company had an annual turnover of 2,100,000,000 yen. Mr. Shirakawa became the gatekeeper to profits in the nuclear security business. In March of 2001, Shirakawa resigned, and cut capital ties to the firm but still maintained a silent influence on the firm. A TEPCO subsidiary company,Tokyo Living’s former CEO and the lawyer Hamada Takujiro came on as auditors. The former CEO became Shirakawa’s conduit to TEPCO and his right-hand man. It is said that Shirakawa’s power comes from his network of associates connected to TEPCO’s nuclear development. Shirakawa was introduced to Araki Hiroshi, former Chairman of TEPCO by Diet member Kamei Shizuka. Included in the TEPCO network, is the former CEO of Nishmatsu Construction, 国沢幹雄 (Kunisawa Mikio). Several years ago, on the sole authority of Kunisawa, it is said that it was decided to loan 4,000,000,000 yen to Nyutekku.

But! In early 2009, the Tokyo District Special Prosecution Office (TPO) arrested Kunisawa for violations of the foreign exchange law (外為法違反). The case expanded to include an investigation of (alleged) illegal political fund contributions from Nishimatsu to Ozawa Ichiro’s political fund Rikuzankai. Nishimatsu decided to radically change the management and in June of 2009, they welcomed on board former Osaka High Prosecutor Osaka Sadao (逢坂貞夫)as an outside director. Mr. Osaka took issue with past financing by Nyutekku and urged them to put up collateral on their loans and repay them in a short time, according to some reports. Isn’t it likely that the result was the 4,000,000,000 yen mortgage registered on the real estate deeds?

Kamei Shizuka and Shirakawa

Shirakawa was born in 1945 in Kagawa Prefecture. He was a salaried worker and moved onto to become a self-employed businessman. He became close to a power diet member, Hiroshi Mitsuka, and took the titles of his secretary. He became a conduit between the political and financial world for his boss. He also had the role as a go-between between the underworld and the political-economic sphere.He was particularly close to Kamei Shizuka, and this is well known.

He also became very close to the former chairman of Mizutani Kensetsu, a mid-level construction firm undergoing financial restructuring. Chairman Mizutani Isao was arrested by the TPO for 11,00,000,000 yen in tax evasion in July of 2006. Mizutani was sentenced to two years of hard labor. It was suspected (but never proved) that the bulk of the unpaid taxes came from TEPCO related contracts on soil disposal for the Fukushima Dai Ni reactor. Roughly 600,000,000 yen was allegedly used in bribes. (Related to the Soil disposal for Fukushima Dai Ni contracts and work it is known that…) Maeda Kensetsu was the primary contractor, Mizutani Kensetsu the subcontractor and there were several sub-subcontractors, amongst which Shirakawa connected companies were included.

The prosecutors at first envisioned a scenario in which in the process of contracting and subcontracting that large amounts of money were siphoned off to pay off Shirakawa related companies and Takeuchi Youichi (a former Yamaguchi-gumi boss) and his company Gyosei Kenkyujo, and finally some of it going as unreported political donations. The investigation went as far as Shirakawa and former TEPCO chairman Araki. However, the prosecutors couldn’t close the deal.  The prosecution having raised their fists in anger found themselves with no one to punch, and finally settled for prosecuting the governor of Fukushima Prefecture (at that time) Sato Eisaku and conducted a desperate investigation. The final result being the conviction of the governor for taking a bribe, in which the amount of the bribe he took was recognized as “zero yen”—an unprecedented verdict. Shirakawa’s source of wealth comes from the group of companies of which Nyutekku is the center and the powerful bonds he forged with other companies in his field.

Other than Nyutekku we can list the following:
Nihon Tekusa (100% subsidiary of Nyutekku)
The company leases, does security for, and protects nuclear related facilities.
Nyutekku Technology Services (100% subsidiary of Nihon Tekusa). It does construction work relating to security at nuclear facilities. It was formerly called 日安建設.
Rokkasho Gennen Keibi, partially funded by Nyutekku and does security for Rokkasho Nuclear Reprocessing Plant and interim storage facilities.
J.S.S. (Tokyo, Shinjuku)
Kamei Shizuka, other politicians and capital from JAL played a central part in forming the company. The firm handles airport security.
36 employees from Nyutekku were transferred to the company in 1988.
For some odd reason, JSS is located right next to the home of TEPCO former Chairman Katsumata Tsunehisa. In the small space between JSS and Katsumata’s home there is a small police box, where a policeman stands guard 24 hours a day. It is questionable whether tax money should be spent on what amounts to Mr. Katsumata’s personal security.
In this tangled way, with Nyutekkuat the center, Shirakawa has a complicated role in profiting from the nuclear industry.

The Last Fixer Shirakawa Shiro/Taking a bite of the TEPCO Nuclear Interests By Tanaka Minorufrom Weekly Friday Magazine (週刊金曜日) Number 876 December 16th 2011 Unofficial translation for reference only. Please refer to the original Japanese article for quotations.

Minoru Tanaka, invité par Reporters sans frontières en conférence de presse résume l’affaire dans cette vidéo (angais et japonais) et explique ce qu’il attend d’initiatives telles que WeFightcensorship :

I want RSF and this website, WeFightCensorship, to spread this hidden story to the rest of the world and as many readers as possible. [2]


  1. TEPCO, est une multinationale japonaise et était jusqu’à sa nationalisation en juin 2012 le plus grand producteur privé mondial d’électricité
  2. Vous pouvez participer au combat de Minoru Tanaka et créer un miroir de ce site.
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