November 29, 9:30 in the morning.
At 9:30 a.m. on November 29, several prosecutors from the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office’s Special Investigation Department entered the Nihon University Hospital in Surugadai, Kanda, Tokyo. Their target was Chancellor Hidetoshi Tanaka (74), the “Don of Nihon University,” who was hospitalized for high blood pressure and other reasons. Unlike the previous arbitrary interviews, there was no prior notice. Tanaka, who was in the hospital room, responded to the “surprise” of the special investigators by himself.
Finally, the head of Nihon University was arrested. Tanaka is suspected of receiving kickbacks from business partners and others in connection with business related to Nihon University, and evading taxes of about 53 million yen.
The university was planning to rebuild the Itabashi Hospital (Itabashi Ward, Tokyo) as a commemorative project for its 130th anniversary in 2007. More than 50 years have passed since the hospital was built, and it had become decrepit. Last year, the university awarded a contract to a contractor in Tokyo at a cost of about 2 billion yen for the design and other work. It is believed that about 220 million yen of that amount was illegally leaked, causing damage to the university.
The defendants arrested and charged with breach of trust are Masami Yabumoto, the former president of the medical corporation Kinshukai, and Tadao Inokuchi, a former board member of Nihon University, who were involved in the order. The two defendants are said to have provided a large kickback to the suspect, Tanaka.
A wad of money haphazardly gathered with rubber bands.
Tanaka’s authority is immense. While a student at Nihon University, he was a member of the sumo club, where he became an amateur yokozuna three times, winning 34 titles, and became the club’s director in 1983 after graduation. After graduating from the university, he was appointed the director of the sumo team in 1983, after which he served as the executive director and president of the alumni association.
In 2008, he became chancellor and served five terms of thirteen years, an unusually long period of time. “The chanko restaurant run by Tanaka’s wife in Asagaya, Tokyo, was visited daily by university executives and vendors. They were there to get in Tanaka’s way. At Nihon University, it is a well-known fact that if you do not make a “chanko pilgrimage,” you will not be promoted and will not be able to proceed with your business. Both the defendant Yabumoto and the defendant Inokuchi frequented the restaurant. On the other hand, anyone who had an opinion about Tanaka was immediately moved to the left.
The university officials offered “congratulatory money” to Tanaka on his birthday and whenever he was reappointed as chancellor. When the special investigators searched Tanaka’s home in September and October of this year, they found wads of money haphazardly placed here and there, gathered together with rubber bands. The total amount is said to be more than 100 million yen. ……
With the arrest of the top management, there are concerns from within the university that the deteriorating image of the school will lead to a decrease in the number of students taking entrance exams, making it impossible to run the school. University journalist, Mr. Mineiji Ishiwata said.
The company that was involved in this incident is the Nihon University Business Department. The company involved in this incident is Nihon University Business Department, which deals with educational supplies and insurance for students. The company, which should have been on the side of the students, set high prices for supplies and other items and was used as a ‘tunnel’ for breach of trust and tax evasion. As a student, I am no stranger to this. If we enter the school, there is a risk that we will be sold expensive goods.
After the dangerous tackle incident by the football team in May 2006, the number of applicants to Nihon University for the following year decreased by about 15,000 compared to the previous year. Even the tackle incident, which was not directly related to the students, resulted in such a decrease. With the current breach of trust incident, the number of applicants may more than double.
This is not the only cause for concern. Mr. Ishiwata continues.
Mr. Ishiwata continues, “There will be a drastic cut in private school subsidies. After the American football game incident, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) reduced the subsidy by 35% for Nihon University due to inappropriate entrance examinations for medical schools. If the top management is arrested, the rate of reduction will be even greater. Tokyo University of Social Welfare, where the involvement of the former chancellor in the disappearance of foreign students has been revealed, has had its subsidy cut by 50%. Following the 35% cut for the football incident, it would not be surprising if Nihon University were to receive a 50% cut as well.
Even with all these negative factors, the management of Nihon University may not be shaken. Mr. Ishiwata said, “I don’t think the system will collapse anytime soon.
The medical income from the affiliated hospitals alone is about 47.2 billion yen. In addition, there are 26 affiliated schools scattered all over the country, from Hokkaido to Kyushu. If you include vocational schools and kindergartens, there are nearly 40 schools. The land and other real estate alone must be a considerable asset.
Nihon University is the largest university in Japan, boasting about 1.2 million alumni and 73,000 current students. Now that the breach of trust and tax evasion have been revealed, what is needed is to improve the constitution of the university that relies heavily on the “don.
Photo by： Shinji Hasuo