Washington, Feb. 17 (Jiji Press)–Three executives of Japan’s Kanto Kosan Co. were indicted by a U.S. federal grand jury Tuesday for their alleged involvement in the fraudulent dumping of contaminated water removed from U.S. Navy ships in Japan, the Justice Department said Wednesday.
President and CEO Sojiro Imahashi and two other executives at Kanto Kosan, based in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, were charged with several counts, including ocean dumping, fraud and false claims.
“The defendants deceived the U.S. Navy by willfully failing to satisfy the company’s obligations” under contracts, Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas McQuaid said in a statement.
Speaking to Jiji Press, Kanto Kosan admitted that it has been investigated by U.S. authorities, but said it did not know the charges.
According to the department and the indictment, Kanto Kosan received contracts valued at roughly 120 million dollars between 2007 and 2020 to remove, treat and dispose of contaminated oily wastewater generated by U.S. Navy ships in Yokohama, Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, and Okinawa Prefecture.
Under the terms of the contracts, Kanto Kosan was required to treat the contaminated water in accordance with Japanese environmental regulations before discharging it into the ocean.
The company was also required to conduct semiannually sampling and provide test results to the U.S. Navy to ensure that the discharged water met Japanese environmental standards.
But since around 2007, the company minimally treated the contaminated water to remove visible contaminates and then dumped it into the ocean, the indictment said.
To avoid exposing the scheme, the defendants directed that a storage tank on the company’s wastewater treatment ship be filled with tap water and take samples for the test from it, the indictment said.