According to a report from the Kyodo News Service, eight shipbuilders were warned by the government's competition policy watchdog over alleged bid rigging on defense contracts. The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said it issued the warning over what it deems were acts to unfairly restrict competition for contracts from the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) concerning the force's fleet between fiscal 1996 and fiscal 1999.
The eight are Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries
Co., Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd
., Hakodate Dock
Co., Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., NKK Corp., Sasebo Heavy Industries Co. and Hitachi Zosen Corp
In November 1999, the government's Board of Audit determined that a competitive bidding process was not working for these contracts, resulting in continuously high-priced orders. - (Reuters)