Kobe, Nov. 17 (Jiji Press)–Japanese police have arrested three men on suspicion of exporting without approval a high-performance sonar that could be repurposed for military use.
Those arrested on allegations of violating the foreign exchange law are Koshi Haraguchi, a 70-year-old former executive of Sonic Corp., a measuring device maker of Mizuho, Tokyo, and Sonic employees Toshihiro Asahara, 40, and Yoichi Shiga, 57.
The three are suspected of exporting a sonar with a measurement distance of over 5,120 meters without approval of the trade minister.
According to the arrest warrants, the device was allegedly loaded on a ship at the Port of Yokohama near Tokyo on July 1 last year and shipped to a seafood-processing company in Chile.
Sonars, which detect objects underwater by emitting sound waves, are used to measure water depth and find fish. They are installed on fishing boats.
Approval from the minister is necessary to export powerful sonars that can be repurposed for military use.
At the time of the export, Haraguchi was responsible for the company’s division for fishery-related products, while Asahara and Shiga were salesmen working under Haraguchi.
The price of the sonar in question declared at the customs stood at 16.5 million yen, according to the Hyogo prefectural police.
Sonic sells the product in and outside Japan from around 2018. The company, set up in 2003, also makes and sells anemometers and wave height meters.