Japanese police said yesterday they had arrested three employees of Yamaha Motor Corp, the world's second-largest motorcycle maker, for allegedly attempting to export to China a helicopter with potential military uses.
The three employees, who include Kazuo Uchiyama, senior general manager of aeronautic operations, are suspected of attempting to export an unmanned helicopter to a Chinese aerial photography company in December 2005 without approval from the trade ministry, a police spokesman said.
Japan bans the unapproved export of remote-controlled aircraft that can carry more than 20l of liquid or aerosol for spraying, according to Japan's trade ministry.
"We are deeply sorry for causing troubles and concerns to our customers, business partners and shareholders," Yamaha president Takashi Kajikawa said in a release yesterday. "All we can do now is to monitor developments in the investigation."
Yamaha, based in Iwata City, southwest of Tokyo, has sold nine helicopters to Beijing BVE Technology Co (北京必威易科技), a film company, since 2002, the company said last January.
The Beijing-based company used them to shoot footage for commercials and television drama, according to Yamaha. At the time, Kajikawa said the helicopters were for civilian use and the company didn't violate any law.
The police suspect the Chinese company has links with the People's Liberation Army, the Kyodo News agency reported without naming its sources.
The trade ministry in December 2005 conducted an on-site inspection of Yamaha Motor and spotted the alleged attempted export of the unmanned helicopter to Beijing BVE Technology.
The choppers, which cost ¥16 million (US$132,000) apiece, are sold mainly to farmers in Japan for spraying pesticides. The helicopters only have a range of 200m from the person who is controlling it and are therefore unlikely to be used to carry weapons of mass destruction, the company said last year.
The employees would be fined up to ¥80 million or imprisoned for as long as five years, if proven guilty, according to the government. The company may be also punished.
Yamaha sold about 300 remote-controlled helicopters in 2005 worth about ¥3 billion. That's less than 1 percent of Yamaha's annual sales of ¥1.38 trillion in 2005.
From the customer’s perspective, car rental is a straightforward business. The only uncertainty is whether the hire company will charge you for the scratch they discover when you hand back the vehicle. Hertz Global Holdings Inc’s bankruptcy protection filing on Friday last week was a reminder that today even the simplest business models are underpinned by a lot more financial complexity than meets the eye. The proximate cause of Hertz’s demise was of course the sudden collapse in bookings caused by COVID-19 travel restrictions. The company’s monthly revenue last month fell 73 percent year-on-year, a shortfall that even the most resilient
Uber Technologies Inc, Lyft Inc and Airbnb Inc have slashed thousands of jobs. Salesforce.com Inc and Visa Inc are letting employees work remotely for months; Twitter Inc and Square Inc are allowing them to do so for good. For the companies’ hometown of San Francisco, the moves are early signs of a dire blow. In a city with a long history of booms, busts and natural calamities, the COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly upended nearly a decade of prosperity. While municipalities across the US are grappling with economic fallout from the virus, San Francisco stands to take a deeper hit given its high
BULK PURCHASE: The French chain and Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International reached a deal covering 224 stores, which is expected to be finalized by year’s end Carrefour SA yesterday announced it would acquire Wellcome Taiwan Co (惠康百貨) for 97 million euros (US$108.33 million), and bring all the Wellcome supermarkets (頂好超市) and Jasons Market Place stores nationwide under its banner within 12 months of the deal closing. The France-based hypermarket chain reached an agreement with Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International Holdings (牛奶國際控股), the pan-Asian retailer that launched Wellcome Taiwan in 1987. The transaction involves 199 Wellcome supermarkets, which have average sales areas of 420m2 and 25 high-end Jasons Market Place stores, which have an average sales area of 820m2, as well as a warehouse in Taoyuan, Carrefour Taiwan (家樂福)
‘ONE-STOP SHOP’: A Miaoli official said that the factory in the Jhunan section of the Hsinchu Science Park would create more than 1,000 jobs and boost prosperity A new high-end IC packaging and testing plant planned by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) in Miaoli County is expected to start operations in the middle of next year, Miaoli County Commissioner Hsu Yao-chang (徐耀昌) said. Hsu wrote on Facebook that TSMC, the world’s largest pure wafer foundry operator, would invest NT$303.2 billion (US$10.1 billion) to build the plant, the largest-ever single investment in Taiwan. However, TSMC declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal, while a company board meeting on May 12 approved a spending plan worth NT$168.2 billion as part of its investment plans. Construction of the