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.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and British counterpart David Cameron agreed Thursday in London on the need to promote increased government spending and other economic measures to bolster the flagging global economy, while vowing to work together in fighting terrorism. (Kyodo)
The popular black bear character Kumamon resumed activities as the official mascot of Kumamoto on Thursday, three weeks after the southwestern Japanese prefecture was devastated by the first of two major earthquakes. (Japan Today)
A man was found dead after being run over by a car on a road in Mooka, Tochigi Prefecture, but police said Tuesday that he may have already been dead after being hit by another car earlier. (Japan Today)
The Osaka District Public Prosecutor's Office has filed charges of drug trafficking against a 40-year-old woman who left a large quantity of illegal drugs inside a fast-food outlet, reports the Asahi Shimbun (April 30). (Tokyo Reporter)
An increasing number of people are using the "furusato nozei" hometown donation program to support Kumamoto Prefecture, southwestern Japan, which has been hit hard by a recent series of strong earthquakes. (Jiji Press)