Will the Investigation into the Aftermath of the Big Motor Issue Reach Former VP Hiroyuki Kaneshige? | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Will the Investigation into the Aftermath of the Big Motor Issue Reach Former VP Hiroyuki Kaneshige?

12 Criminal Complaints Received for Cutting Down Street Trees, Former Director Finally Arrested

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Kambara is the first suspect to be arrested for the street tree issue. He is currently being questioned about his chain of command.

The day after his arrest, President Shinji Izumi sent an e-mail to the head office saying, “We received an e-mail from the head office the day after his arrest. At the site, we were like, ‘Oh, no, we didn’t expect that. I had heard a lot of bad rumors about him. However, I was surprised that two employees were sent to the police for questioning two days later. I think that by now, the plant managers and store managers must be shaking with fear that they are next in line.

said an employee in his 30s who works at a Big Motor store in the Kanto region.

On January 30, Kanagawa Prefectural Police arrested Toshiyuki Kamohara, 51, a Big Motor employee, on suspicion of destruction of property. The suspect is suspected of cutting down six trees in front of the Kawasaki store in October 2010 as part of environmental maintenance to check the store’s maintenance and cleanliness. Automotive journalist Kumiko Kato explains.

He held the position of “environmental maintenance promotion committee member,” which was a central role in the environmental maintenance. He also served as a director, albeit briefly, and was heavily relied upon by former Vice President Koichi Kaneshige (35). Mr. Kambara was known as “the devil of environmental maintenance,” and it was common for him to yell at employees in front of customers. Some of them were not allowed to go home when their fathers were in critical condition and could not see their parents die. It seems that his power-harassing nature was well known even within the company.

In fact, many employees were instructed by Kambara to kill roadside trees.

An executive in his 40s, who now works at the head office, said, “I was told to do it when I was a store manager. I advised him that he should check with the city office about the use of herbicides, but he rejected my advice,” he said. Another employee who works at a store in the Kansai region revealed, “I was instructed to pull out or kill street trees.

Fifty-one reports of damage to street trees have been filed by local governments and other organizations in 20 prefectures throughout Japan. In addition, 12 criminal complaints, including the current one, have been accepted. Therefore, the number of arrests is expected to continue to rise. Mr. Kato continues.

The number of employees being sent for prosecution is likely to increase in the future. When it comes to arrests, we hear that the head of the sheet metal department, who played a central role in the insurance fraud claims, has been interrogated several times. And the final target of the authorities will be the arrest of former vice president Koichi, who was the head of the frontline.

However, the road to arrest has not been smooth. A source close to the Kanagawa Prefectural Police said, “The street tree issue has been criminally prosecuted.

The roadside tree issue has been criminally prosecuted, so it is easier to build a case against him than other frauds such as padding of insurance claims. The key to breaking down the case is the testimony of Kambara. One of the key points of the investigation will be to what extent we can extract the actual involvement of former vice president Koichi in the street tree issue.

Rumors of Kambara’s arrest were already circulating at the beginning of December of last year. Perhaps due to these circumstances, there has been a string of resignations from Big Motor. According to Kato, more than 320 people left the company between December of last year and January of this year.

In addition, the number of store closures is also increasing. At one time there were nearly 300 stores nationwide, but the number has dropped to less than 250. Furthermore, the Tama branch in Tokyo, one of the largest in Japan, has closed its sheet metal shop, and the company is desperately trying to liquidate its real estate holdings.

Behind the scenes, ITOCHU is conducting due diligence (asset valuation), which is now in its final stages. With the deadline for a key review to receive financial assistance looming this spring, one might think that the arrest would have a negative impact on ……, but instead, it could be a benefit.

One of the conditions ITOCHU set forth for the assistance was ‘severance from the founding family. If the current investigation extends to former vice president Koichi, it will come close to fulfilling that condition. Big Motor has also stated that it will fully cooperate with the investigation in order to improve the company’s condition. That is why I believe that the “X-Day” when former Vice President Koichi will be arrested is not too far away.

Will all the pus be drained out of the company in order to achieve management restructuring?

Last April, this magazine reported on a video of a company “punching holes in customers’ tires. The purpose was reportedly to illegally claim insurance money and to pad labor costs.
We also reported allegations that the plant manager had set a customer’s car on fire and further covered it up. Will there be an investigation into these irregularities as well?
Former vice president Koichi reigned as the head of the frontline. In addition to the harsh quotas, he is believed to have encouraged a culture of impropriety through a series of unjustified demotions and other actions.
Former president Hiroyuki Kaneshige, 72, who resigned last July. At the end of last year, the executives who were known as the “Royal Family” and who led the fraudulent activities also left the company. The negative legacy continues to be cleared up.

From the February 23, 2024 issue of “FRIDAY

  • PHOTO. Asahi Shimbun (Kambara suspect) Shinji Hasuo (former president Hiroyuki)

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