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May 13, 2007 

Japan Imposes Penalties on Yamaha Motor Company for Violating Export Control Laws

Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has imposed an administrative sanction on Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. prohibiting the company from exporting unmanned industrial helicopters and related components for nine months for violating Japanese export control laws.

As previously reported, in January 2006 Japanese police conducted a raid on Yamaha's headquarters and other company locations seeking evidence concerning Yamaha's exports of RMAX unmanned remote-controlled helicopters to Beijing BVE Technology, a Chinese company believed to be connected to China's People's Liberation Army.
The helicopters included advanced flight technologies and could be used for military purposes, such as loading and releasing biological and chemical weapons. METI subsequently filed a criminal complaint against Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. and three company employees were arrested.

In March 2007, Yamaha agreed to pay a fine of 1 million yen (approximately US$ 8,000) for exporting the RMAX helicopter without an export permit. The charges against the employees were subsequently dropped.

In a statement posted on Yamaha's website, the company said:

Yamaha Motor takes the administrative sanction with the utmost seriousness. Yamaha Motor deeply acknowledges the shortcomings of its export-control procedures, and will continue to strive to strengthen its export-control procedures under the direction of the security trade control operations the company established in May 2006. Furthermore, Yamaha Motor will unite all its resources and fully address the measures with which to regain the trust and confidence of the public, such as strengthening compliance regulations.
Yamaha Motor also took disciplinary action against several company officials, including President Takashi Kajikawa, whose salary was cut by 10 percent for three months.

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