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.
Government figures show a sharp and continuous fall-off in the number of farmers over the past five years that potentially threatens the landscape as its stewards leave the sector and are not replaced. (Japan Times)
Japan plans to boost financial aid to developing countries to help them tackle climate change by providing about ¥1.3 trillion (about $10.6 billion) a year by 2020, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday. (The Japan News)
The Japanese government plans to tighten its energy-efficiency standards for lamps to effectively ban production and imports of fluorescents and incandescents, informed sources said Thursday. (Jiji Press)
No major gangster bloodbath has occurred in the three months since Japan's largest yakuza organization, Yamaguchi-gumi, split into two rival mobs, but to say the sides are living in harmony would be an exaggeration. (Asahi)
A 60-year-old man in Tochigi Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo, who claims to be an exorcist was arrested Thursday on suspicion of killing a diabetic boy by halting the administration of insulin, police said. (Japan Today)
Police and animal protection center officials captured the last of two emus, an ostrich-like bird from Australia, that escaped from a farm in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, earlier this month. (Japan Times)
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested the head of an adult video (AV) label specializing in productions featuring gay men for employing an underage male actor, reports Nippon News Network. (Tokyo Reporter)