Photo/IllutrationThe head office of Yamato Home Convenience Co. in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward, where transport ministry officials conducted an inspection on Aug. 9 (Saki Rin)

Overcharging appears to be a rampant practice among regional offices of Yamato Holdings Co.’s subsidiary for the moving of household items of its corporate clients’ employees.

Of the 128 outlets of Yamato Home Convenience Co. (YHC), 112, or 87.5 percent, each overcharged its corporate customers in 100 or more cases, internal documents obtained by The Asahi Shimbun showed.

The finding strengthened the suspicion that the overbilling was systemic.

On Aug. 9, the transport ministry conducted an inspection of YHC’s head office in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward based on the Trucking Business Law and questioned people concerned.

The ministry will investigate the case in detail, including whether YHC's management was involved in the overcharging.

Masaki Yamauchi, president of Yamato Holdings, Japan’s largest home-delivery service company, has said that Yamato never instructed YHC as an organization to engage in overcharging.

According to YHC internal documents, cases of overcharging were found in 123 of the 128 branches. In 112 of the 123 offices, those cases numbered 100 or more each.

Of the 112 branches, 69 each will be required to return 10 million yen (about $90,130) or more to its corporate clients.

Of the 69, the Omiya office in Saitama totaled the largest overbilling at 52 million yen, followed by the Yodogawa outlet in Osaka, the Fukuoka outlet, the Sendai outlet, the Haneda outlet in Tokyo’s Ota Ward and the Nagoya-Kita outlet in Ichinomiya, Aichi Prefecture.

These six branches each overcharged its corporate clients in 1,000 or more cases.

(This article was written by Yoshitaka Ito and Hideaki Ishiyama.)