Defense Minister Tomomi Inada owns stocks in three major defense contractors under her husband's name, it has been learned from assets disclosure documents for newly appointed ministers.
The documents reveal that Inada, who was appointed defense minister in August, owns 8,000 shares in IHI Corp., 6,000 shares in Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., and 3,000 shares in Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. under her husband's name.
According to the Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency in charge of defense equipment procurement, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries executed agency equipment orders worth 263.2 billion yen in fiscal 2014 -- the most of any firm -- while Kawasaki Heavy Industries ranked second with 191.3 billion yen in orders. IHI ranked sixth in total contract value, at 61.9 billion yen.
Inada is believed to have acquired stocks under her husband's name sometime after September 2014 when she left the ministerial portfolio for administrative reform, since the assets disclosure at the time did not show share holdings in the three companies.
The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe set the new three principles of defense equipment and technology transfer in April 2014, virtually clearing the way for previously banned Japanese arms exports.
Inada's office told the Mainichi Shimbun that it could not comment on whether the defense ministry chief should own shares of defense manufacturers, and added that it is unaware of the stock purchases as it is a matter concerning Inada's husband.