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Comsn continued June 12, 2007

Posted by fukumimi in Economy & Business, Japan, Society.
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With Goodwill Group being pressured into divesting Comsn to a third party, several groups are being mentioned in the press as potential parties to a transaction.

Watami has expressed an interest in the old peoples’ homes business, which they already have a presence.

Another interested party is Nichii Gakkan, who is a major player in the care services market.

But Nichii was one of the three companies (along with Comsn and Japan Care Service) which were named as having profitted illegally from abusing the system.

A Tokyo Metropolitan Government sanctioned inquiry had found that Nichii had pocketed approximately $1M illegally, compared to Comsn’s $2.5M.

Why is the media glossing over the fact that Nichii has also been abusing the system, even if they did not engage in the tactics employed by Comsn of liquidating their subsidiaries to escape punishment?

It seems to have been decided by the media’s puppetmasters that Comsn will be used as a scapegoat whilst others who engaged in substantially similar illegal practices are allowed to continue as if nothing had happened.

Whilst Comsn’s attempt to avoid punishment is undoubtedly a underhanded act which exacerbated the situation, the underlying issue is that a number of major care service providers have been institutionally defrauding the taxpayer. The problem is bigger than one single corporation.

It seems the problem is being spun as being due to a greedy rogue corporation, when the signs are that there are fundamental problems with many of the larger players in this sector.

Pretending that the problem is isolated to Comsn is unacceptable. A wholesale review of the industry is required. But I don’t expect that to happen in the current climate. The underlying problems will resurface again later, after more people suffer, and more taxpayers’ money is wasted, unless the structural problems are not addressed. Another MHLW disaster in the making.

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Comments»

1. Liberal Japan » Blog Archive » Kininaru and O-kiniiri News - June 13, 2007

[…] From the inside looking out makes astute comments about the Comsn scandal; “Why is the media glossing over the fact that Nichii has also been abusing the system, even if they did not engage in the tactics employed by Comsn of liquidating their subsidiaries to escape punishment? It seems to have been decided by the media’s puppetmasters that Comsn will be used as a scapegoat whilst others who engaged in substantially similar illegal practices are allowed to continue as if nothing had happened.” Well said! […]

2. Ken - June 16, 2007

I agree with your assessment in the last paragraph, but I’m actually surprised that there aren’t more companies trying to get a piece of the pie. Perhaps many are staying quiet or they found it to be more rotten than expected. The potential growth in the industry is astounding.

It seems to have been decided by the media’s puppetmasters that Comsn will be used as a scapegoat whilst others who engaged in substantially similar illegal practices are allowed to continue as if nothing had happened.

Spot on. Reminds me of Nova. Some of their competition has been worse at breaking the law. They got the scapegoat’s role…I guess lying about METI having approved their practices upset someone.

3. fukumimi - June 17, 2007

There do seem to be plenty of companies trying to get a piece of the Comsn pie, as many as 20 by some counts.

(Then there are the whole host of companies trying to get into the welfare business in general, although mostly on the residential care market under the current regime)

The fact that Nichii seems to be in the driving seat (because they propose to buy the whole business rather than just the more profitable residential care services) is outrageous. The media had the chairman of Nichii quoted as saying that the focus should be on the present and future, and not on past events, and the media just lets the guy get away with using arguments about providing a safety net to care recipients and employees to sweep the fact that his company was one of three companies specifically singled out as having been illegally collecting fees under the carpet.

I for one believe that the media is allowing Nichii to get away with this (barring a public backlash, although the Japanese public is not really known for voicing its opinion) without the approval of the MHLW.

Just notice how Nichii have cranked up their advertising spend in recent days, especially in advertising slots related to current affairs programming.

4. Guess who gets Comsn’s care businesses? « from the inside, looking in - September 13, 2007

[…] 2007 Posted by fukumimi in crime, Japan, Society, Economy & Business. trackback A previous post relating to Comsn’s divestiture of its care […]

5. Trouble at Comsn; Who’s to buy their operations? : Japan Economy News & Blog - December 2, 2007

[…] Although the topic of embattled nursing care operator Comsn has come up during the Bizcast Japan podcast, I haven’t blogged it here yet. In part, the story is so profoundly complicated and fascinating that it goes far beyond what a blog post, or even a series of them, could get into. So, for those who are interested in the ongoing scandal, I recommend checking out what Shin Fukushige has written about Comsn on his blog. […]


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