More than a thousand Japanese companies and individuals, including the founder and CEO of Softbank, Son Masayoshi, are featured in the so-called Pandora Papers, which have leaked the secret fortunes and activities in tax havens of personalities around the world.
Among others of the Japanese names that appear in the more than 11.9 million confidential documents leaked from 14 law firms that are dedicated to the creation of “offshore” entities and published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ, for its acronym in English), it also consists of Takeo Hirata.
Hirata was a special adviser to the Government and headed the section of the Japanese Cabinet Secretariat in charge of promoting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo since his election as host city in 2013. He resigned in mid-August for taking free golf lessons for years. which were usually expensive.
Details about the Japanese entities and personalities involved in the most recent journalistic leak of this type, similar to that of the Panama Papers of 2016, were published by the Japanese news agency Kyodo, a collaborator in the investigation carried out by the ICIJ.
According to the documents, the CEO of Softbank acquired a business jet around 2014 through a company established in 2009 in the Cayman Islands, a British territory considered a tax haven.
Ownership of the aircraft has been transferred to a US trust company and Son pays fees when it is used under a lease, which could reduce an individual’s taxable income by paying those fees.
Softbank has denied that Son used the rates in such a way and has pointed out that the Cayman company is a subsidiary of a Japanese company headed by Son and that the rental agreement does not constitute tax evasion, in statements to Kyodo.
As for Hirata, the Pandora Papers record that he established a company in the British Virgin Islands in 2004 during his tenure as general secretary of the Japan Football Association. He settled her in 2008.
Hirata has said that he learned about the tax havens through negotiating partners he met when he was working in the soccer and oil sector, and says he never moved the money.
Others named in the documents include former government adviser and technology venture capitalist George Hara, a business owner in the Virgin Islands; and the founder of the Don Quijote chain of stores, Takao Yasuda.
The company announced in 2013 that Yasuda would sell its shares to a Singaporean company, but according to documents and other leaked materials consulted by Kyodo, the Southeast Asian company is an asset management entity owned by Yasuda himself.
Corporate taxes and levies on stock dividend income are lower in Singapore, where Yasuda lives, than in Japan.
According to a Don Quijote spokesman, the company considers that the tax treatment carried out is within the law.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.