Earlier today, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police announced that they arrested two former Bandai employees. According to the report, the two were charged with fraud in relation to the construction of the life-size Gundam statue in Tokyo’s Odaiba ward.
According to the authorities, the events allegedly took place in Summer 2013. The suspects are charged with asking contractors who both built the robot and hosted events related to it to overcharge Bandai by 10 million yen ($91,124.06 USD). The two then pocketed the overages.
The police note that the two suspects purportedly skimmed more than 200 million yen ($1,822,481.22 USD) from Bandai using similar methods between July 2013 and November 2016.
In a statement issued today, Takashi Udatsu – a 44-year-old Minato resident – admitted to the charges. 66-year-old Takao Kurokawa, who lives in Katsushika, denies the allegations.
The full-size Gundam statue, which depicted the iconic RX-78-2 Gundam from the original Mobile Suit Gundam TV series, was first erected in Odaiba’s Shiokaze Park in 2009. It kept a silent watch over the park for 52 days, attracting over 4.15 million people.
The statue was moved to Shizuoka City a year later, bringing with it a new beam saber. It stood in its new home from July 2010 through March 2011. In 2012, the statue was taken down once more, to be rebuilt at Odaiba’s DiverCity Tokyo mall. The statue was dismantled on March 5, 2017.
A new statue, which depicts the Gundam Unicorn, was erected in 2017.
Source: Asahi Shimbun