Japanese official builds bridge over non-existent river

Japanese official bridge scam

A Japanese official has been arrested for corruption after he allegedly built a bridge over a non-existent river and embezzled the money. The official, who worked for the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, was in charge of a project to construct a bridge over the Kurokawa River in the prefecture of Nagano. However, it turned out that the Kurokawa River did not exist, and was only a name on a map.

The official, whose name has not been disclosed, reportedly fabricated documents and contracts to justify the bridge project, and hired a construction company to build the bridge. The bridge, which cost 1.5 billion yen (13.6 million dollars), was completed in March 2023, and spanned over an empty field. The official then pocketed the money that was supposed to be used for the bridge maintenance and operation.

The scam was exposed by a local journalist, who noticed that the bridge had no traffic and no signs of water underneath. The journalist investigated the matter and found out that the Kurokawa River was a fictitious name that the official had invented. The journalist then reported the case to the authorities, who arrested the official and charged him with fraud and abuse of power.

The official’s arrest has caused a public outcry and a political scandal in Japan, where corruption is rare and frowned upon. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has apologized for the incident and vowed to take measures to prevent such cases from happening again. The ministry has also ordered the demolition of the bridge, which has been dubbed as the “bridge to nowhere”.