Rurei Miura: “Sales can be manipulated”… Rurei Miura, her husband’s company, allegedly received “5.5 million yen in benefits” illegally. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Rurei Miura: “Sales can be manipulated”… Rurei Miura, her husband’s company, allegedly received “5.5 million yen in benefits” illegally.

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Rurei Miura smiles in direct response to a direct interview by this magazine (PHOTO: Toshikatsu Tanaka)

On March 7, Rurei Miura, a much sought-after TV commentator and international political scientist, was arrested by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office on suspicion of embezzling 420 million yen from her husband, Kiyoshi. In the meantime, this magazine had learned of another “gray business” in which the couple was involved.

TRIBAY CAPITAL (“TRIBAY”) is an investment company located in Nagatacho, Tokyo. The office is located on the first floor of a building close to the Diet and the prime minister’s office, and Kiyoshi’s office can be seen behind a glass wall facing the street.

There are a total of five such private office spaces secured by partitions. Mr. Rurei occupies the corner farthest from the street, and the couple’s only daughter has a room next to it. The other employees perform their daily work at desks set up in the corridors and other open spaces. The reason Ruri has her own space in this office is that the think tank she heads, the Wildcat Research Institute (“Wildcat”), also resides there.

One day in late October ’20, Seiji came out of his office with his smartphone in his hand and called out to his employees as he walked to Rurei’s room.

‘Hey, what’s going on?’

Shortly before this, Tribay had applied to the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency for “rent support benefits. This was a government program to support companies that had experienced a drop in sales due to the declaration of a state of emergency in the spring of the same year following the spread of the new coronavirus. When Mr. Kiyoshi confirmed that approximately 5.2 million yen had been deposited as planned in Tribay’s savings account at the Azabu branch of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, he gave a thumbs-up and said, “Good job!

Good job! (Good job!

This time, we interviewed a number of people involved with Tribay. Their testimonies raised suspicions that Tribay had fraudulently received various benefits provided by the national and local governments. Kiyoshi gave a thumbs-up when he obtained benefits based on a false application, saying, “Good job.

Go get your benefits.”

It was around the beginning of October ’20 that Mr. Kiyoshi flew his instructions to his employees. His first target was the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency’s “Rent Support Benefit. According to the application guidelines, the program provides a maximum of 6 million yen to companies whose sales in any one month since the declaration of the state of emergency in 2008 have declined by 50% or more compared to the same month of the previous year. However, as of October, Tribay did not meet this condition. The company’s income was expected to be comparable to that of the previous year.

As Seiji and others were discussing these points, Rurei came out of his office and interrupted them.

We can manipulate sales by shifting them by a few months,” he said. You don’t have to be honest about it.

He said that they could reduce the amount of sales in order to meet the conditions for receiving the subsidy. Rurei then went on to say, “The government is only interested in giving money away.

The government is all about giving money away,” he said. The government gives us money for free, so there is no reason not to take it.

But is it possible for Tribay to manipulate sales as Rurei suggests?

Tribay has invested in solar power plant development projects in several regions of Japan. In each case, the scheme is to establish a special purpose company (SPC) specializing in the development of power plants by inviting other investors to become partners. One of these SPCs was responsible for the development of the solar power project that was the subject of an investigation by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office.

Tribay is involved in each SPC as a “representative employee,” and employees of Tribay are engaged in the operations of each SPC,” said Mr. Kurokawa. On the other hand, most of the power plants are unable to acquire land, and there is almost no income from the sale of electricity from the completed plants. Therefore, what supports Tribay’s sales is the outsourcing contracts it has signed with each SPC, whereby the SPCs earn income by outsourcing to Tribay the work of negotiating with landowners for the purchase and sale of land and obtaining the various qualifications necessary for development,” says a Tribay official.

Since Tribay and each SPC are practically one, they can conveniently prepare the necessary documents for recording sales, such as business consignment contracts. Therefore, it is easy to manipulate sales.

In addition to the amount of sales, it is also suspected that they reported false information when applying for benefits. Another person involved with Tribay revealed, “The rent for the office was charged per month.

The office rent is 1.7 million yen per month (excluding tax), of which 500,000 yen is paid by Wildcat. The rent, which is the basis for calculating the benefit amount, is only the amount paid by Tribay. However, we hear that Tribay applied without deducting the amount owed by Wildcat.”

The application guidelines also state, “If a lessee subleases (subleases) a portion of the land or building to a third party (in the case of partial subleasing), the portion that is not subleased (subleased) and is used and earned by the lessee is eligible for this benefit. In other words, the portion of the property that is not “used and earned by the owner” is not eligible for this benefit.

A person from Tribay continued, “Tribay is not a company that operates on a profit-sharing basis.

The person involved with Tribay continues, “There are still other benefits that Tribay has applied for by manipulating the amount of sales. One such benefit is the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s “Rent Support Benefit. They applied for it in March 2009 and received about 300,000 yen in the same month.

The suspect, Kiyoshi, didn’t even give a glance to this magazine’s direct interview.

Thus, Tribay may have received at least approximately 5.5 million yen in fraudulent payments.

According to the Office of Litigation and Claims Management of the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency, “If the company is found to have received unfair benefits, it will be required to refund the full amount of benefits as well as the total amount of late fees and additional fees. Investigations concerning companies that have received unfair benefits are being conducted in cooperation with the police,” he said. In addition, the Coordination Division of the Commerce and Industry Department of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government stated, “The Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s benefit program to subsidize rent was established to provide support on top of the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency’s benefits. Companies that have returned the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency’s benefits will also be required by the TMG to return the benefits, including any penalties”.

How do the Miuras respond to these allegations?

On the morning of March 2, we approached Mr. Kiyoshi as he emerged from the back entrance of the office building, but he got into his private car without a glance at us. In the evening of the same day, I approached Mr. Rurei as he emerged from his office and said, “This is FRIDAY,” but he only smiled and said, “Yes,” and did not answer my question. The next day, I rang Mr. Rurei’s cell phone.


Why are you calling my cell phone?

–I’m calling to ask for an interview.

Please go through the proper channels for the interview. I don’t do interviews like this.

–It’s important, so I would like to ask for your opinion in your own voice.

No, well, not in a flesh-and-blood voice (laughs).

–I’m talking about Tribay.

Why are you asking me about Tribay?

–When the COVID-19 crisis happened, there was a program called the Rent Assistance Benefit.

No, no, no, I don’t know that, I’m with another company. Please apply to Tribay for an interview, not us.

–I heard that Mr. Rurei lobbied for Tribay to apply for the benefit. I would like to confirm that fact.

No, no (laughs). Um, well, I’ve never heard of such a, such an outlandish thing, so, um, please go through the proper channels for the interview. Well, if you’ll excuse me, haha.

Once again, I sent the questionnaire to Tribay and Wildcat, and Tribay did not respond within the deadline. Wildcat said, “We are a separate company (from Tribay), so we are not involved, including whether or not we applied for subsidies. We are always striving to comply with laws and regulations,” the company responded.

After his arrest, Kiyoshi commented, “I will plead not guilty. Meanwhile, Mr. Rurei issued a statement from the standpoint of the suspect’s wife, saying, “I want to support my husband and watch the transition. However, there is a possibility that she will be in the limelight as a “party to the allegations” regarding the Corona Benefit.

Interview and text by Naoyuki Miyashita (nonfiction writer) + this magazine’s research team

Mr. and Mrs. Miura driving a luxury foreign car to work
  • Interview and text by Naoyuki Miyashita (nonfiction) Naoyuki Miyashita (nonfiction writer) + this magazine's research team PHOTO Toshikatsu Tanaka

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