Couple Arrested for Allegedly Selling Glass Technology to Chinese Manufacturer

A couple in Hyogo Prefecture was arrested for industrial espionage on October 5 after allegedly selling confidential data from a major glass bottle manufacturer to a Chinese competitor.

57-year-old Mizuki Kotaka and his 51-year-old wife Seika Kotaka were accused of selling special technology from Nihon Yamamura Glass, where the husband was fired in November 2022.

The couple has denied the allegations that they sold technologies for making ultra-light glass bottles to a manufacturer in China, but the police suspect they accessed secret data stored in the company’s servers in June 2016, around the time worked as an interpreter and representative in China.

The programs used to mold the ultra-light glass bottles were allegedly sent to Mizuki’s email, and a Chinese glass manufacturer paid around 189.6 million yen into the account of another company, which the wife, Seika Kotaka, served as a board member. Police believe the money was a form of payment for the trade secrets, and investigations continue.

Mizuki joined the company in 2003 and was part of the overseas team from May 2013 to July 2017. He was fired in November 2022 after Nihon Yamamura Glass grew suspicious of his connections with the Chinese manufacturer, which was producing ultra-light glass bottles similar to the Japanese manufacturer’s that are made using unique technologies.

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