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Sunday, September 13, 2009

The 22 Year Old Grudge - Randall, Wisconsin Population 3,510 - Snubs Toshiba

“There are questions of security involving this organization,” Randal town supervisor Robert Gehring said, referring to Toshiba,

“This outfit should not have been allowed to continue to do business in this country.”

Oh boy.

Small town. One Copier. Evil doings and politics...

Published September 12, 2009 | 11:07 p.m.

Randall dumps Toshiba copier in lease


RANDALL — It’s not the fact the town will get a new copier that is newsworthy. It’s why the town is getting one that raises eyebrows.

The board voted unanimously Thursday to lease a new color copier for an amount of money not significantly different from what it had been paying. While it does have some added capabilities compared to the copier it had been leasing, a need for those new features is not what prompted the town to get six different copier bids.

The town needed a different copier, supervisor Robert Gehring contended when he offered to explore other options, because the one they have was manufactured by Toshiba. As a matter of principal, Gehring disagrees with the lease or purchase of any product of Toshiba.

“There are questions of security involving this organization,” Gehring said when the product’s lease agreement came up for discussion last month. “This outfit should not have been allowed to continue to do business in this country.”

Gehring’s opinion stems from an incident in 1987, when Toshiba Machine, a subsidiary of Toshiba, was accused of illegally selling machinery used to produce quiet submarine propellers to the Soviet Union, which was allegedly in violation of an international embargo.

The Toshiba-Kongsberg scandal also involved the Norwegian company Kongsberg Vaapenfabrik, strained relations with Japan, and resulted in the arrest and prosecution of two senior executives.

Top government officials contended that providing technology to make the USSR’s submarines harder to detect created a significant threat to America’s security.

For Gehring, this is enough reason to boycott the use of any equipment made by Toshiba, which is also responsible for the invention of radar, microwave ovens and the technology used in MRI exams. It is why he voted against the copier lease under a different town administration and brought up the issue again.

This time he prevailed in his quest, though other officials cited the new copier’s functionality and price comparison as the reason behind their vote to lease a different copier.

Full article Here.


Indeed, Toshiba Machines and two executives were found guilty of selling technology to the Soviet Union - violating Japan's Foreign Trade Control Law

From the L.A. Times, March 23, 1988 -

"...The court fined Toshiba Machine 2 million yen--about $15,700.

Ryuzo Hayashi, 53, former director of Toshiba Machine's foundry department, was sentenced to 10 months in prison and Hiroaki Tanimura, 51, former deputy director of the company's first engineering department, received a one-year sentence. But both sentences were suspended.

A Foreign Ministry official said the sentences appeared to be light because the violation was a first offense for the defendants. He added that Hayashi and Tanimura did not act for personal gain but in the interests of the company..."

22 years is a long time when grinding axes...


  1. Even I, the evil Xerox guy, thinks that not doing business with Toshiba because they may have done business with the Soviets 20 years ago is just silly. There are a million other reasons not to do business with Toshiba, but that is not one of them.

  2. LOL! "Evil Xerox guy..."

    It's weird - but I guess having a view and taking a stand is unique now days...


  3. Toshiba completely revamped their internal policy as a result of this scandal (it was a subsidiary company note). Today they are at the forefront of export control compliance in Japan, and Toshiba employees are generally the first people you see at government sponsored training seminars giving lectures on US export control laws (which are controversial throughout the world and not always followed even in the EU, yet now followed very thoroughly by Toshiba.)


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