A victim of the “Haneda Airport opening” scam sadly confesses, “I was swindled out of 20 million yen… | FRIDAY DIGITAL

A victim of the “Haneda Airport opening” scam sadly confesses, “I was swindled out of 20 million yen…

The dark side of the "Haneda Airport concession," where MLIT OBs flock to and brokers abound...

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE
Last year, Haneda Airport was used by a total of 50.3 million passengers on domestic and international flights. The economic effect is estimated to be as much as 650 billion yen.

When I saw the report about the intervention of MLIT alumni in the personnel affairs of the “Airport Facilities” company, I was reminded of “that incident. The reason why high-level bureaucrats want to descend from heaven to airport-related companies is because there are such lucrative concessions at airports.

Mr. A, who runs a consulting company, confided this to us.

In March of this year, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported that a former vice minister of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (then chairman of Tokyo Metro) pressured a private company, Airport Facility, to promote its then vice president (a former MLIT alumnus and former aviation bureau chief) to the position of president. Due to this issue, the former vice president stepped down as chairman of Tokyo Metro on June 27. In connection with the same issue, the current director of the Aviation Bureau resigned on July 4 after receiving a warning.

Airport Facilities is a company that leases real estate and manages facilities at airports .

In addition to Airport Facilities, there is another company called Japan Airport Terminal (JAT), which is in charge of airport-related business. I was the victim of an investment fraud involving JAT,” said Mr. A. “JAT is a company that operates passenger terminals at Haneda Airport.

JAT constructs, manages, and operates passenger terminal buildings and other facilities at Haneda Airport, and leases office and retail space at the airport. It is also responsible for the operation of stores and duty-free stores for domestic and international flights, and sells goods at Narita International Airport and Kansai International Airport. The company’s current board of directors includes an ex-Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT) official with experience as director general of the Civil Aviation Bureau.

It was around 2003 that Mr. A was approached about the company with a suspicious story.

At the time, I met Mr. X, who was running a Michelin-starred buckwheat noodle restaurant in the airport through an acquaintance of mine who was an investor. He was an expert in the food and beverage industry, writing a column in a magazine about gourmet food, and he explained to me that he had been contracted by JAT to provide consulting services for restaurants and souvenir stores at Haneda Airport. Mr. X told me, ‘JAT is privately planning to replace the restaurants on the second floor of Terminal 2 (Haneda Airport). I have the rights to open a restaurant, so I can open one for 20 million yen.

The Words “Political Case

The author has a copy of a business card provided by Mr. A. It belongs to a JAT executive who was introduced to me by Mr. X at a coffee shop in Haneda Airport, and the title reads “Managing Director and Executive Officer.

Mr. X had warned me not to discuss specifics with the executive director because the store replacement plan was a top-secret matter, so we ended the day with a simple greeting. At the time, Mr. X told me many stories of interests related to the airport. For example, JAT was secretly planning to open a souvenir store in the town of Hawaii, and the coin-operated massage machines in the waiting area of the airport were said to be a “political matter” and were effectively controlled by a company owned by the son of a prominent LDP member.
A Korean restaurant used to have a branch in Terminal 2, and the Korean owner of the restaurant has the rights to open several branches there, and the owner often entertains JAT executives at a Korean club in Akasaka.

Mr. A, who trusted Mr. X completely after being introduced to the managing director of JAT, invested 20 million yen jointly with an acquaintance, a restaurant owner. The agreement also stipulated that FRIDAY would bear 20 million yen in preparation for the opening of the restaurant. However, the company’s response was, “There has been no progress at all.

However, “nothing is going on,” said Mr. X. “Just from what I understand, there are three people who are interested. As far as I know, Mr. X collected a total of 60 million yen from three people. Eventually, the investors began to suspect that Mr. X had cheated them, and a lawyer was brought in to discuss the matter. In response, Mr. X refunded part of the money he had collected, but not a penny was returned to me, and eventually I lost contact with him. What I cannot forgive is that the executive director must have met with me knowing what Mr. X was up to.”

JAT admitted to FRIDAY that the executive director in question was employed by the company, but said there was no evidence of a consulting contract with Mr. X. As for whether or not there were any transactions with the LDP lawmakers or their son’s company, the company replied, “We cannot answer questions about individual business relationships.

There must still be a deep darkness spreading at the airport, where everyone from bureaucrats to brokers are flocking.

From the August 4, 2023 issue of FRIDAY

  • Reporting and writing Hironori Jinno (Nonfiction writer)

Photo Gallery1 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles