The body of a former Hokkaido Railway Co. president has been found floating in the port of Yoichi in Hokkaido Wednesday. The body was identified as that of 73-year old Shinichi Sakamoto, current adviser for the railway company better known as JR Hokkaido.
The body was found at around 8:20 AM. It bore no major wounds or signs of struggle, which led the police to believe that Sakamoto committed suicide. However, no suicide note was found. Police recognized the body through fingerprints and other data. His secretary came to pick him up at his house around 9:30 AM as Sakamoto has a scheduled business organization meeting that morning but did not find him at home. The same secretary dropped him off at his home, 5:00 PM the day before.
JR Hokkaido, the company, which Sakamoto was connected have been the center of a controversy last year when fire and derailment accidents uncovered tracks that had been neglected and rail inspection data that have been fabricated. The May 2011 incident that involved a train on the Sekisho Line derailing and catching fire led the transport ministry to impose a business improvement order on the company. Sakamoto, who has worked for the Japanese National Railways in 1964, became JR Hokkaido’s president in 1996. He later became chairman of the company in 2003 and stepped down in 2007. He continued to work on an adviser capacity for the railway.
[via Jiji Press]