New York state hit Japan's largest bank Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi-UFJ with a $250 million fine Thursday for handling money transfers that violated sanctions on Iran, Sudan and Myanmar.
The state's Department of Financial Services (DFS) said Mitsubishi-UFJ moved billions of dollars through its New York branch between 2002 and 2007 for state and private entities in Iran, Sudan and Myanmar, including entities on the US Treasury's blacklist.
In that period banking services and money transfers fell under US sanctions on the three countries.
To hide them, the DFS said the bank employees "systematically" removed information from wire transfer messages that could have identified the parties involved.
In all, the bank handled nearly 28,000 illegal transactions worth $100 billion in violation of the law, according to the DFS.
The fates of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto and Jordanian Air Force pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh remain unknown after a deadline purportedly set by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) for the release of would-be suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi in exchange for Goto passed at sunset Thursday. (The Japan News)
The Aichi Prefectural Police said Friday that the 19-year-old Nagoya University student who has admitted killing a 77-year-old woman last month apparently used her cellphone to take pictures of the victim's corpse. (Japan Times)
Manga giant Katsuhiro Otomo won the Grand Prix Award at the prestigious Angouleme International Comics Festival on Jan. 29, marking the first time that a Japanese creator took the event's top honor. (Asahi)
Police in Saitama Prefecture said Thursday they have arrested 11 people who, as part of an organized scam group, call up individuals claiming that they had missed a payment for using a website that is actually free to use. (Japan Today)
A Nagoya University student who says she killed an elderly woman found dead in the 19-year-old's apartment has also admitted poisoning a former high school classmate, investigative sources said Thursday. (Japan Times)
Paul McCartney, who had to cancel all his concerts in Japan last year due to an illness, announced on his blog Thursday that he will return to Japan for four concerts in April as part of his "Out There" world tour. (Japan Today)