restricted access Chapter 4: Preparation for the Trial
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Neither Kuroda’s death nor a cabinet change stopped Tokyo procurators’ preparations for preliminary court hearings. Former minister Nakajima was interrogated by procurators after the Saitò Cabinet fell and was indicted; former minister Mitsuchi was questioned in August but not indicted until September. As suspects were arrested, between April 28 and September 13, 1934, procurators indicted them for various crimes. In brief, procurators decided that Teijin stock shares were sold at below fair market price, so the sellers were charged with misfeasance. Finance Ministry personnel and Nakajima, who were connected with the sale, were charged with bribery; Mitsuchi was accused of perjury. Out of seventeen suspects twelve confessed to various crimes during the course of the investigation ; one was dropped (Takanashi Hiroji, a bank inspector with the Kawasaki Daihyaku Bank) during the preliminary court hearing. Mitsuchi and three Finance Ministry officials (Òno, Aida, and Shidomoto) denied guilt throughout the investigation.1 The main charge against former government officials was bribery. Vice-Minister Kuroda, in his “petition” to Chief Procurator Iwamura, confessed to receiving 400 Teijin stock shares. Òkubo Teiji, who was named in Takagi’s confession, was accused of receiving 100 shares from Okazaki Akira, his brother-in-law, who was a Bank of Taiwan director. After his arrest on May 21, Òkubo denied receiving shares, but on May 23 he confessed to receiving 100 shares. Later he repudiated the confession.2 Òno was charged with accepting ¥7,000, at the Finance Ministry, from Bank of Taiwan president Shimada. Shimada confessed this act; Òno denied it. Aida was accused of receiving ¥5,000 from Takagi at the Bank of Taiwan Tokyo branch office. This he denied. Shidomoto, who denied the charge, was accused of accepting ¥2,000 from Shimada. Procurators said that Nakajima received 200 shares on June 26, 1933, from Shimada and Chapter 4 Preparation for the Trial 84 Takagi, at his official office. Before the preliminary court Nakajima confessed to receiving stock shares, but he repudiated this confession at the open trial. Also charged with receiving a ¥10,000 bribe from Nagano, Nakajima confessed at the preliminary court, but at the trial he insisted that the money was a political contribution. Mitsuchi was charged with perjury after he refused to cooperate with procurators as a witness against Nakajima. Throughout the investigation and trials, Mitsuchi steadfastly insisted that he did not get 300 shares from Takagi; he did not receive 200 shares from Nakajima to convert to cash; he did not give money to Nakajima. Unfortunately for Mitsuchi, Takagi, at the preliminary court, said repeatedly that he gave the shares to Mitsuchi at the railway minister’s official office. Shimada’s and Yanagida’s testimony supported Takagi’s.3 The Problem of Mitsuchi Mitsuchi Chûzò, the last of the defendants indicted, presented a special problem for procurators and justice administrators. First, he was a venerable politician. Second, his patron was Finance Minister Takahashi. Mitsuchi was linked with Takahashi in a mutually dependent relationship, in which Takahashi assumed the status of parent (oyabun) and Mitsuchi, the status of child (kobun). Although their kinship was ritual in nature, they appear to have regarded it more as a blood tie. Indeed, Takahashi’s biographer says that, when the finance minister heard that Mitsuchi was under investigation, he decided to resign from the cabinet, because Mitsuchi was a very close supporter.4 As for Mitsuchi, writing in 1937, after Takahashi’s assassination in the army mutiny of February 26, 1936, he recalled that, for over twenty years in both public and private life, they had a very close relationship .5 Mitsuchi, then, benefited from the protection of a former prime minister (the Takahashi Cabinet, November 1921–June 1922), former finance minister (many times), and former viscount (renounced title in 1924). Takahashi became finance minister again in November 1934. Moreover, Mitsuchi, too, had held many important posts: chief cabinet secretary (with Premier Takahashi), finance minister (Tanaka Cabinet, April 1927–July 1929), communications minister (Inukai Cabinet, December 1931–May 1932). Thus, before becoming railway minister, Mitsuchi’s career was distinguished. Topping off this imposing background , Mitsuchi, who already held high imperial decorations (he was listed in the First Order of Merit class), was scheduled to receive the Grand Cordon of the Rising Sun in April 1934.6 Because of this impressive vita, Preparation for the Trial 85 Mitsuchi was probably the best known among the defendants and was a focus of press and public speculation. According to the Osaka Mainichi, Mitsuchi criticized procuratorial officials...


pdf

Subject Headings

  • Teijin case, 1934.
  • Trials (Bribery) -- Japan -- Tokyo -- History -- 20th century.
  • Political corruption -- Japan -- History -- 20th century.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access