Yamaha Motor president Takashi Kajikawa says that the company will shortly unveil a series of new initiatives designed to restore community and investor confidence after police raids last year linked to alleged illegal transfers of RMAX series commercial unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) to China.

In a statement released to investors 8 January, Kajikawa acknowledged the January 2006 raids by Japanese authorities “raised serious concerns in society” about the firm's commercial practices.

He says: “But by learning from the incident, we can build a model corporate culture that inspires confidence from the society around us. Compliance is a crucial component. We must not only abide by the law but also ensure that our own self-directed corporate ethics reinforce compliance.

“We plan to initiate a variety of programmes designed to fulfil our corporate social responsibilities.”

Those details are expected to be released next month alongside the company’s trading results for the full 2006 Japanese financial year ending 31 December.

Japanese authorities are still to update details of their ongoing investigations into the alleged export of nine RMAX series unmanned air vehicles to China since 2001 via a company called Beijing BVE Technology.

The investigations are being conducted by the Shizuoka prefectural police, Fukuoka prefectural police and customs authorities in the port city of Nagoya. Those agencies raided Yamaha corporate headquarters facilities on 23 January last year following an indictment of Yamaha by Japan's trade ministry, alleging potential violations of national foreign exchange and foreign trade laws.

That indictment followed spot investigations at Yamaha facilities by the ministry in December 2005.

Yamaha’s investor website currently says the company in continuing to cooperate “fully with the investigation, in addition to pursuing its own internal fact-finding inquiry”.

The company established a “compliance special committee” in June 2006 to review the firm’s existing handling of Japanese defence exports laws and make recommendations on future arrangements by this month. The committee is chaired by Prof Iwao Taka from the Reitaku University Graduate School in Chiba.

The company also set up an “internal control review project” in March 2006 to examine its export controls policy handling arrangements, while a “security trade control operations group” was created in May to strengthen export controls compliance.
Kajikawa indicates in his 8 January statement that the special committee has now submitted proposals for further reforms, with these potentially impacting on the future development of the RMAX series. “Once these projects are in motion, management will have a yardstick to determine whether the company is living up to the expectations of society, and is capable of sustainable growth,” he says.

He committed the company to making “whatever improvements are necessary to become a model corporate citizen with a culture that inspires trust”.

Source: FlightGlobal.com