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Local base worker arrested for demanding bribe for job

Date Posted: 2003-12-11

Okinawa City police arrested a Japanese national working on base Monday, on suspicion of demanding bribes from a bus driver who had been hired to work at the Camp Foster Motor Pool. The man is reportedly denying the charge. According to investigators, a bus driver who had passed the test at the local Labor Management Office, Military Base Section, was hired as a bus driver on Kadena Air Base. After he was accepted, a Japanese manager at Foster Motor Pool approached him and explained to the driver that he would make sure that he would get the job. But he also explained that it was a custom to pay the American manager who actually did the interview. He first asked for one million yen, but later reduced the sum to Y500,000. The money should be paid through him, he added.

The driver, after getting the job, went to the American manager to make sure that he got the money, There, the American said it was the first time he ever heard about such thing. The driver then filed a complaint with the police, who conducted an investigation. Local applicants eagerly seek base jobs in Okinawa. Each year about 20,000 people apply for 150~200 openings, and rumors about bribes and payoffs for the jobs are rampant. It has been rare, however, that those accusations lead to anything.

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