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Village worries after losing contract judgment in court

Date Posted: 2007-06-08

Tiny Iheya Village has a big problem, and doesn't know exactly what to do about it.

The village has lost a court judgment brought by a construction company, and doesn’t know how it can make the payment. Iheya Village did all the paperwork to contract construction of a waste incinerator on March 26, 2003, but then reversed course and told the company “No, we can’t make a contract with your company. The contract is broken.”

The contractor challenged the decision, telling Iheya Village “Nonsense. Your village signed our contract and we responded.” When the village wouldn’t budge, the construction contractor took the case to court, presenting its proof of a valid contract, complete with the village seal stamped on the paper. Iheya Village Mayor Shinsuke Kinjo says he didn’t know about the stamp. “Somebody did stamp it, but I didn’t tell anybody to stamp it.”

The court ruled against the village, saying in its judgment “It is impossible that your man would apply the seal and make the contract by himself, without asking the boss. No way.” The ruling further noted “It’s quite unusual that the village mayor didn’t know about the contracting paper being stamped. He should know everything.” It added the “village mayor says he didn’t know about this contract, but we are sure that without his words in the subsidy money application, it would have been impossible to get, plus the Village Assembly members needed to get the subsidy money for the project.”

The waste incinerator facility was built by another company at a cost of ¥1,200,000,000. Iheya Village residents are now worried about “why the Village Office changed the contract from one construction company to another company.”

The current mayor, Shinsuke Nishime, says “It’s very bad. I’ll discuss this with a lawayer and then I’ll tell you what to do. Villagers aren’t happy with the answer, and after listening to the trial said “If the village mayor Shinsuke can’t handle this scandal, we’ll ask for a recall.”

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