Panama Papers show Japanese stakes in 270 offshore tax haven entities

(From Kyodo)

Individuals and companies in Japan, including major trading firms Marubeni Corp. and Itochu Corp., were listed as shareholders or directors of at least 270 entities in offshore tax havens, recently leaked documents dubbed the “Panama Papers” show.

The names of some 400 individuals who live in Japan appear in the documents, including the chief of the country’s leading coffee company UCC Holdings Co. These people named live in 32 prefectures, mainly in major cities.

Both Marubeni and Itochu said their investment in the same offshore entity was for business purposes and “not for tax avoidance.” UCC Holdings also denied the aim was dodging tax, adding that the company is “disclosing information as needed at the request of Japan’s tax authorities and has been paying taxes in a lawful manner.”

Mossack Fonseca company placard

Mossack Fonseca & Co. placard

The leaked internal files from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca & Co. contain information regarding over 200,000 offshore entities connected to people in more than 200 countries and territories. The massive trove of files was obtained by the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, with which Kyodo News and other media outlets are in partnership.

On Tuesday, the ICIJ decided to release on its website May 10 at 3 a.m. Japan time all the names of the offshore companies and people behind them that appear in the Panama Papers. Read more


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