Panama Papers name 400 Japanese individuals, firms

(From Asahi Shimbun)

Japanese doctors and professors were named in leaked documents known as the Panama Papers, but so far no leading politician or public figure has been connected to the offshore companies set up in tax havens.

Placard of Panama law firm at center of Panama Papers leak

Placard of Panama law firm at center of Panama Papers leak

About 400 individuals and companies with addresses in Japan were apparently involved in these offshore companies, according to an analysis of the documents by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung and other media partners, including The Asahi Shimbun. While the objective may have been to avoid tax payments, the individuals contacted by The Asahi Shimbun said they have not taken advantage of their positions in those companies.

The Asahi Shimbun is a partner in ICIJ, which broke the story about the Panama Papers along with the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

ICIJ is a global network of reporters and the international journalism section of the Center for Public Integrity, a U.S. nonprofit journalism organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.

A 60-year-old doctor living in Hyogo Prefecture in western Japan became a stockholder of a company based in the British Virgin Islands in 2011 after receiving advice from a Hong Kong consulting firm.

At that time, the doctor was in the process of opening a hospital in Southeast Asia.

“I thought of moving any profits from that hospital to the company, but right now I have not been able to take advantage because the enterprise has not generated a large amount of returns,” the doctor told The Asahi Shimbun.

The doctor plans to open hospitals in other parts of Asia, and intends to use the stake in the British Virgin Islands company as a vehicle for accepting foreign investments. Read more

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