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Japan temporarily halts aid to Vietnam over bribery case

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Japan has temporarily suspended official development aid to Vietnam over a bribery case, officials said Tuesday, dealing a possible blow to Tokyo’s efforts to shore up its relationship with Hanoi.

No. This only affects this particular, narrow area. As it says later in the article, aid will be resumed if measures are put in place. Regardless, it won't affect the security relationship that is growing between Vietnam and Japan.

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Looks like rail worker is digging JYen for higher ups (!)

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1 million dollars. Halting payments sounds perfectly reasonable if there is suspicion that the money isn't going where it should.

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Japan has temporarily suspended official development aid to Vietnam over a bribery case, officials said Tuesday, dealing a possible blow to Tokyo’s efforts to shore up its relationship with Hanoi.

One would think that Japan should have learned its lessons from aiding China regime years ago. But today Japan seems replicating the same mistakes all over again on Vietnam or N.K? Such short memory and shortsightness are just inapprehensible.

Vietnam’s repressive and brutal political regime (Vietnam government arrested over one thousands protesters after the senseless riots in early May) is almost the same as the Chines one.

Today when these two used-to-be comrade parties got under each other’s skins, American public has little sympathy or appetite to get involved. In part, 58,000 American GIs lost their lives and over 300,00 of them were wounded during Vietnam war.

Someday Vietnam and China could bond together again to fight a war with US and Japan, who knows. History showed us that geopolitics has no dull moments.

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Japan Transportation Consultants Inc. (JTC) which is involved in several official development aid programs, is suspected of having paid the money to officials in Vietnam and Uzbekistan and Indonesia, the reports said.

So it seems the Japan Transportation Consultants Inc. (JTC) make this a practice of paying bribes but Japan cuts the aid to Vietnam because their officials take the money? Vietnam receives official development aid loans from Japan so seems they have little leverage in how the money is dispersed so why are pay-offs being made in the first place? Maybe everybody isn't getting a fare piece of the pie and money is paid to keep things greased and moving?

The whole overseas development aid, yen loans and financial assistance by the foreign ministry is just a front and is a huge handout to big Japanese construction firms who miraculously win nearly all the contracts but don't get their hands dirty by sub-contracting everything to domestic firms in those countries and with labor costs a mere fraction of what they are in Japan end-up absorbing all the profits with little going to the sub-contractors, same as done here in Japan. The workers are grossly underpaid and overworked but the officials in those countries take the bribes and keep their mouths shut and life goes on!

This action to suspend assistance is just a rouse by the foreign ministry to deflect attention away from the real issue of who is really benefiting and it ain't the locals. Sure they get a railroad but these loans do need to be paid back at some point and the future tax payers will have to foot the bill for their overly adequate, priced, and in some cases, white elephant projects.

If you still don't get it, look at how work is being done in the Tōhoku region with the Tsunami Development Aid projects. How many stories have we read where workers are being illegally short-changed and underpaid by SUB-CONTRACTORS but TEPCO, the major contractors and all levels of government pretty much turn a blind eye. The sub-contractors aren't the evil ones in this scam as they are forced into accepting contracts that have been bled-dry by the various levels of overhead. And why do the government officials turn a blind-eye, to land a job with TEPCO and these major construction firms after they retire.

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I don't get it, Why do they have to pay bribes. The Japanese government is giving money to Vietnam to develop Vietnam's rail system, granted that the JTC would want the actual construction to go to Japanese interests but, still the Vietnamese government is getting a free rail system.

Then why the bribes?

If the Vietnamese do not like the offer then they can go out and look for another party to fully fund a train system from scratch for them. And the Japanese can use their ODA in some other place they were forced to overlook for some reason or the other. There are nearly 200 countries and I bet nearly all would openly embrace a free train system for their people, no questions asked.

How hard can that be?

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I don't get it, Why do they have to pay bribes.

Those taking bribes don't take them in the name of the people or the government. That's why several were arrested. They are simply men (mostly) in some position of power where they can make things difficult for the train builders. I am sure there are 200 countries that would welcome a free train system, and almost all such countries in that sort of need are filled with corruption. When the UN delivers food to impoverished regions, it's the same thing. Those with power get all the best stuff, and (to keep the gravy train flowing) a few scraps are allowed to pass through to the intended recipients.

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Some ask "why the Bribes"...

You have to know how the system for this Japanese Overseas Aid is schemed.

It is complicated, but in short..... The Japanese Companies (in this case JTC), bribes the government functionaries in order to lock the project only and exclusively to them (JTC).

The reason is that, according to the Japanese Aid system, every project has to go through bidding for almost every stage of the project. So these means that even if JTC make the feasibility study and implementation research, it does not secure them that they will be able to get the Construction phase (the most juicy part of the project). Finally the country that receives the aid has the last word as to what company they want for the job.

By bribing, they can make sure that only the company can be selected.

It is a pitiful practice... and because of that kind of things many other Japanese Companies that are honest has suffered. First because they don't get a chance to get a good project, and second because each time this kind of bribing comes up, the controls becomes evermore tighter (though after a while these controls become loose and that give way to yet another of these problems).

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Just when I thought Japan and Vietnam were on the same team with their territorial disputes with China.

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Mr. Perfect So it seems the Japan Transportation Consultants Inc. (JTC) make this a practice of paying bribes but Japan cuts the aid to Vietnam because their officials take the money?

They learn all the trick of the trade from the bad ass northern bro. Just remember these so called corrupted Vietnam officials received their monthly salary equivalent to a day of averaged wages in Japan. It would be damn hard for them to resist when millions of dollars are dangling in front of them on project tendering selection.

EthanWilber Someday Vietnam and China could bond together again to fight a war with US and Japan, who knows. History showed us that geopolitics has no dull moments.

This scenario will never happen !. I am sure Vietnam will shed all the shackles of communism and bad ass bro China after this territorial conflict. All problems of corruption, anti democracy, etc will be solved then...

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Please don’t point finger at any particular country. Japan is not immune from this kind of behaviour. Corruption is everywhere; it happened in developed, developing and third world countries. The question is who paid the bribe? There are so many big greedy corporations out there who prepared to pay anything just to get a contract. To eliminate corruption first we have to eliminate the source of payments. It is human nature, if people can get something for nothing they will continue to do so until it is stop otherwise.

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@Kenny76 “This scenario will never happen !. I am sure Vietnam will shed all the shackles of communism and bad ass bro China after this territorial conflict. All problems of corruption, anti democracy, etc will be solved then...”

Although I admire your optimistic view, Vietnamese regime’s past track records seem showing slim to none of evidences to go for your confident predictions.

Just like to point few things for you to ponder: First, Vietnam is dominated by one party system. On the top of that, it shares similar political ideology like its giant northern neighbor. Furthermore, they commonly act in one direction as well. For instance, both Vietnam and China have thrown their supports on Thailand's Thai junta government while the US and West demonstrated dissatisfactions.

Secondly, Vietnamese regime has been showing its ruthless brutality on its political dissidents in every change it gets, and there is little evidence to demonstrate that Vietnamese authoritarian government will give up its practice anytime soon if ever.

Vietnamese regime and Chinese regime fought a war in 1979, and the significant skirmishes around Sino-Vietnamese border continued. During these skirmishes stretched for about ten years of time, Vietnamese army suffered casualty loss and land loss as well. Yet in early 1990s Sino-Vietnamese improved. When a peace agreement was finally signed, Vietnamese government forewent some its territory to Chinese regime, exchanging for fanatical supports. In short, Vietnamese regime and Chinese regime fight each other then kiss to make up all the time.

Last but not least, Vietnamese’s economy heavily depends on its past comrade-in-tunnel from electricity to raw materials, these dependences will make Vietnamese regime to be prone to strike a deal with Chinese regime. If that happens down on the road in few years, everything between Vietnam and China will resume “normal”, leaving countries such as Japan to hang dry in hot, salty and humid air.

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EthanWilber,

Is there anything you say based on fact or is it all your personal fantasy? Glad you have one but there's not really a need to share it with us. Thanks anyway.

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ReformedBasher,

To answer your question, they are all established facts (otherwise Vietnamese posters would come out to dispute) . However, as you may know, many times, truth hurts; especially for those who have been living in denial and dilution.

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@EthanWilber

Last but not least, Vietnamese’s economy heavily depends on its past comrade-in-tunnel from electricity to raw materials, these dependences will make Vietnamese regime to be prone to strike a deal with Chinese regime. If that happens down on the road in few years, everything between Vietnam and China will resume 'normal', leaving countries such as Japan to hang dry in hot, salty and humid air.

I used Google translate to read this news paper and all comments which represents the voice of Vietnam Youth. China starts using large ships to ramp Vietnam coast guard ships... and China's navel ships are now pointing missiles and big guns at them.. It won't be to long before China to fire the 1st shot and all hell will break loose. This conflict will result in Vietnam democracy and China's isolation and perhaps breaking up into smaller states.

http://www.thanhnien.com.vn/pages/20140604/tau-trung-quoc-hung-hang-dam-hu-hai-nang-tau-kiem-ngu-viet-nam.aspx

There was an article last week (I cannot locate now) tells you how Vietnam feels about the current large trading account deficit with China on low quality products. Vietnam would be better off not trading with China ..

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This is the way you do business with Vietnam, Philippines, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka...etc.

You bribe them.

Why is this a surprise or even newsworthy?

You want to go against China and build relations with these SE Asian nations, the only thing valuable from Japan is money. Even if you give them your techs, many of them don't even have the capacity to absorb them and make them functional and practical.

So why is this even news? Anyone with an ounce of intelligence knows bribery is definitely involved in dealing with these nations. Heck its even a common practice in Japan itself. So just chill and relax and get back to the business of building relations.

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Since the Japanese company had done this systematically in several countries, not just Vietnam, this story is really about Japanese corruption. Have the corrupt Japanese officials been jailed?

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