Mainichi Shimbun : Shimane Japan's most corrupt prefecture

Shimane is the most corrupt of the country's 47 prefectures and 13 major cities, according to a grass roots watchdog group.

More than 95 percent of bids on tenders for public works projects within the prefecture exceeded originally estimated costs, suggesting considerable bid rigging, the Citizen's Ombudsman group said.

In contrast, only 1.5 percent of bids on huge projects in Miyagi exceeded initial budget estimations.
Saitama was the least transparent of the country's 13 biggest cities, with 85.7 percent of bids on large-scale public works projects exceeding estimated outlays. (Mainichi and wire reports, Aug. 2, 2004)