“Why …… at this time?
In early October, it was suddenly discovered that the company founded by Kosuke Nozaki, the “Don Juan of Kishu” (77 years old), had been ordered to begin bankruptcy proceedings, leaving the bereaved family bewildered.
Bankruptcy proceedings have been initiated against two companies: Aprico, a liquor distributor and money lender, and its affiliated company, Anchor. Mr. Nozaki died mysteriously on May 24, 2006, and in the summer of the same year, his wife, Saki (25), was appointed as the representative director of the company. However, as is well known, Saki was arrested in April 2009 on suspicion of murdering her husband, and is still in detention at a jail in Wakayama City.
Who filed for bankruptcy in the absence of a representative? This magazine obtained a “petition for commencement of bankruptcy proceedings. The “petitioner” listed on the petition was Tanabe City. A source close to Nozaki’s company explained the purpose of Tanabe City.
“According to the city’s investigation, the president (Mr. Nozaki) lent about 800 million yen to Aprico and Anchor from his personal assets, and although the two companies have other creditors, bankruptcy will effectively eliminate them. I guess that’s what Tanabe City is trying to do.”
I want my inheritance anyway.
However, there is one problem here. It’s Mr. Nozaki’s will. The will that Mr. Nozaki is said to have left behind states that he will donate all his assets to Tanabe City, and in September 2007, Tanabe City announced that it would accept the inheritance. According to the documents prepared by Tanabe City, Nozaki’s estate is said to be worth about 1.3 billion yen, and the city has already budgeted about 180 million yen for the inheritance.
However, in April 2008, the bereaved family of Mr. Nozaki filed a lawsuit demanding the invalidation of his will, claiming that it was fabricated. The trial over the fate of his enormous inheritance is still ongoing. A lawyer familiar with the will trial said.
“Tanabe City has filed for bankruptcy as a creditor of Aprico and Anchor. This is based on the assumption that they themselves received a bequest of Mr. Nozaki’s property. However, as a matter of course, depending on the outcome of the lawsuit to confirm the invalidity of the will, Tanabe City’s rights may not be recognized. It is inexplicable why the government filed for bankruptcy at this time, even though there are doubts about the validity of the will. It is inexplicable.
This magazine interviewed Tanabe City about the reason for the bankruptcy filing. However, the city official said
“But the city official said, “There is nothing we can tell you.
That was the response. Why did Tanabe City go ahead with the insane bankruptcy petition before the conclusion of the will trial?
“There is a possibility that there are some overpayments in the money lending business that the president was engaged in. In fact, there are still some overpayment claims pending in court. He may have wanted to bankrupt the company and settle the claims before another overpayment claim trial is filed in the future.” (Mr. Nozaki’s company official mentioned above)
If this is true, it is a very selfish reason for wanting an inheritance. Mr. Toyokichi, Mr. Nozaki’s elder brother, laments, “I think it’s important to respect the deceased as much as possible.
“If he had any respect for the deceased, he would have at least visited Kosuke’s grave. The mayor of Tanabe City and Kosuke knew each other, but he didn’t even show up for the wake and funeral. The attitude of Tanabe City gives me the impression that they just want their inheritance as soon as possible.
As a large amount of taxpayer money has been invested, the fate of Don Juan’s estate is a matter of great concern to the local citizens. Why did he file for bankruptcy? Tanabe City, as an administrative body, should be held accountable for its actions.
From “FRIDAY” November 19, 2021 issue
Photo by： Takashi Yoshida