Access Denied

Back in October, the building home to Chongryon (the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan) in downtown Tokyo’s Chiyoda district went up on the auction block for a second time. The winning bid went to the mysterious Mongolian Avar LLC for 5.01 billion JPY (about 49 million USD).

The Korean residents that Chongryon was established for have long been known to be North Korean sympathizers, and the headquarters has been referred to as a de facto embassy in Japan.

Yesterday, it was reported that Avar’s bid to purchase the building was denied by the Tokyo District Court. The court blamed it on photocopies of required documents being submitted instead of originals, but there were also rumors that the business address in Ulaanbaatar provided by Avar LLC didn’t actually exist.

It looked bad for Avar from the get-go. Mongolian companies don’t own a lot of property outside of Mongolia, there were doubts about whether or not Avar could pay the winning bid, and questions about whether or not the purchase was actually being carried out on behalf of North Korea.The first time the building went up for auction, a Buddhist priest made the winning bid, but couldn’t come up with the cash and was found to have close ties to North Korean officials.

The UB Post published a short interview with a rather curt President of Avar back when the decision to finalize the sale was first postponed.

Here is a brief interview with President of Avar LLC, Ch.Erdenebat.       

 -The Japanese court has delayed the decision to proceed with the sale of the Chongryon site. Why has the court decision been postponed for the building you’ve purchased at auction?

 -The court decision is delayed because of various reports related to the auction by the press and media of Japan and Mongolia. The court decision was supposed to be issued last Tuesday. But a court decision will be issued soon.

-Your company has not been active before this? How did you participate in the auction?    

 -Our company has not been established for a long time. It is true that we have not been active. The company participated in the auction via a Japanese law firm. It does not matter how active the company is to participate in the auction.

-Your obliged 5.01 billion JPY is a very large amount of money. How did you organize the funds?

 -We will gather it through a foreign investment fund. After the court has made its decision I will give you specific information.

-According to reports by some Japanese press, Member of the State Great Khural D.Sumiyabazar and professional sumo wrestler and 68th grand champion Asashoryu D.Dagvadorj are connected to the purchase, or the Japanese government is behind this to bring back its citizens who were kidnapped in North Korea.

 -There are no links with any government bodies in Mongolia, Japan, North Korea or South Korea. It is just a business. Member of the State Great Khural D.Sumiyabazar is the husband of my sister Ch.Michidmaa. That is why people say that D.Sumiyabazar is involved in the purchase.

-Is Asashoryu D.Dagvadorj connected to the purchase?