Former Chancellor Tanaka’s plight begins with the death of the “Empress of Nihon University
He said, “I can’t bear the thought of the responsibility (for tax evasion) being placed on my wife.
These were the words of former Chancellor Hidetoshi Tanaka, 76, the “Don of Nihon University,” when he “completely fell” under investigation by the Special Investigation Department.
In November of last year, former Chancellor Tanaka was arrested in a tax evasion and breach of trust case involving Nihon University’s Itabashi Hospital. At the time, his wife, Seiko, who is one year older than Tanaka, was under investigation by the Special Investigation Department as an accomplice in the tax evasion. As the possibility of an investigation into Seiko’s involvement in the case increased, former Chancellor Tanaka made a complete about-face and began to admit to receiving money from her, which he had denied.
On October 5 of this year, his beloved wife, whom he had tried to protect even at the cost of incriminating himself, passed away.
Around September of last year, when the Special Investigation Department raided the former Tanaka’s home, Mrs. Tanaka fell down the stairs. Her chronic illness worsened, and she was admitted to a special ward at Nihon University Hospital. She was still in the hospital in late November when Mr. Tanaka was arrested, and we had heard that she had recently been recuperating at her home building, which houses “Chanko Ryori Tanaka” (Asagaya, Tokyo). We were surprised by the sudden news of his death, but of course Nichidai was not involved in the funeral,” said a former Nichidai board member.
Around 4:00 p.m. on October 11, this magazine caught sight of former Chancellor Tanaka leaving his Tokyo home to attend Seiko’s wake. Mr. Tanaka, who had wielded authority as the “Don of Nihon University” during his time as chancellor, was seen getting into his car with a downcast look on his face, and one could sense that he was depressed about the separation from his beloved wife.
Mr. Tanaka has already been found guilty (one year in prison, three years suspended, and fined 13 million yen). He is guilty of concealing income of 118 million yen received from former board member Tadao Inokuchi, who was indicted for breach of trust, and business partner Masami Yabumoto, who was indicted for tax evasion of approximately 5.2 million yen. Masami Yabumoto, a business partner, and others. Inokuchi has stated that he gave most of the kickbacks from business partners to his wife, Seiko,” said a reporter from the Judicial Club of a national newspaper.
Former Chancellor Tanaka has reigned as the “Don of Nihon University” for five terms and 13 years since he became the university’s chancellor in 2008. Although his power was immense, many of the business partners who wanted to make inroads into Nichi-Dai approached his wife, Seiko, rather than Mr. Tanaka himself. It was a well-known fact that Mrs. Tanaka was “the only one who stood above” former Chancellor Tanaka. In fact, in his autobiography, “The Ring is a Circle, Life is an Affinity,” former Tanaka said, “I am still madly in love with Mrs. Tanaka.
When Mr. Tanaka rose to the position of Chancellor, there was a tradition of ‘chanko-ya pilgrimages. It is no exaggeration to say that university executives and vendors who wanted to do business with him frequented “Chanko Restaurant Tanaka,” and that university personnel matters and policies were decided only by those close associates who were invited to the restaurant. The closer the restaurant was to Mrs. Tanaka’s seat, the higher the degree of “penetration” was. Both university executives and vendors were desperate to get into Mrs. Ino’s business. The person in charge of that seat was former board member Mr. Inokuchi. Without Mrs. Inokuchi’s favor, there was no hope for advancement or a job at Nichi-Dai. She was truly the ‘Empress of Nihon University'” (former Nihon University board member).
Having lost such a beloved wife, former Chancellor Tanaka is in a state of disappointment and may find himself in an even more difficult position in the future.
In response to the arrest of former Chancellor Tanaka and others, Nihon University declared a “permanent separation” in December of last year, and at an extraordinary meeting of the Board of Trustees that same month, the board decided to file a claim for damages against Tanaka and Inokuchi. It is believed that Nihon University is steadily preparing for this, and this magazine reported that former board member Inokuchi’s mansion in Ashiya was “provisionally seized” on August 15 of this year.
Chanko Ryori Tanaka,” which is housed in Mr. Tanaka’s building, has not yet been seized, perhaps because it was in Mrs. Seiko’s name. However, if the name is changed to Mr. Tanaka upon his wife’s death, there is a possibility that “Chanko Ryori Tanaka” will be seized as well.
It is said that Mr. Tanaka owns several properties privately, and I am sure that Nichidai is investigating these properties as well,” said another former Nichidai board member.
The death of the “empress” may bring the Nichidai case back into the spotlight.
Photo： Toshikatsu Tanaka