TOKYO (TR) – An organized crime member was among three suspects taken into custody by Fukui Prefectural Police for illegally dispatching workers to a nuclear power plant construction site owned by Kansai Electric Power Co., reports the Nikkei Shimbun (Feb. 14).
Officers arrested Masaharu Higashi, 57, a member of the Yamaguchi-gumi yakuza crime syndicate, and two employees at construction firm Sanyu Kogyo, Toshio Takenaka, 53, and Mieko Nakashima, 48, for allegedly sending temporary employees to the Takahama Nuclear Power Plant between March and August of last year — a violation of the Temporary Staffing Services Law.
Higashi reportedly denies the allegations. “I was not responsible for management within the company,” the suspect was quoted by public broadcaster NHK (Feb. 14). Takenaka and Nakashima have admitted involvement.
Higashi dispatched at most six workers to the site per day. Sanyu Kogyo, which is located in Tsuruga City, was contracted to do paint work for the outer wall of a nuclear reactor. The firm utilized temporary laborers for the scaffolding construction. Under the law, temporary staff members are prohibited to work in certain industries, and construction is one of them.
The three suspects had previously been arrested on February 3 for violating laws related to unemployment insurance. Investigators are now attempting to determine the extent of the relationship between Higashi and Sanyu Kogyo.