Japan Based Diploma Mills Dissolved by the State of Hawaii:
A Comparison between IOND University and Taiken Wilmington University
Catatan : Hari ini Rabo Tanggal 12 May 2010 jam 6,30 pagi saya terima email dari Prof. KOJIMA tentang apa yang tertuang dalam laman ini. Informasi ini merupakan kelanjutan dari korespondensi kami dengan Mr. Alan L Contreras dan beberapa expert lainnya di Amerika, termasuk didalamnya pejabat IAU-UNESCO di Paris. Semoga bermanfaat.
There are two Japan based unaccredited American universities which were involuntarily dissolved by the State of Hawaii in the 2000s: One is IOND University in Hawaii and the other is Taiken Wilmington University, whose headquarters are both located in Tokyo. This paper makes a comparison between the two institutions through the analysis of the business information issued by the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs in the State of Hawaii and the inquiries to the department in terms of what they were and why they had to be dissolved.(1)
●When were they incorporated in Hawaii and why?
IOND University and Taiken Wilmington University were incorporated on April 12, 1999 and on February 19, 1997 respectively. As Hawaii was infamous as a diploma mill haven in those days, the legislature of the State of Hawaii revised the state law in 2000 to regulate diploma mills. If it had not been after 2000, they would not have been incorporated.(2) The first amended complaint of the State of Hawaii says:
“A few months after IOND was incorporated, significant amendments to Hawaii Revised Statues Chapter 446E regarding unaccredited degree granting institutions were made effective after the Hawaii legislature found that “The proliferation of diploma mills in this State is harmful to consumers and to all educational institutions” and that “the number of unaccredited degree granting institutions operating under Hawaii’s lenient laws continue to increase.”(3)
●Who founded the institutions?
IOND University was founded by Eiji Kurosu (pseudonym: Hiroshi Nakasugi) and its Hawaii agent was Ikuo Nakano. Taiken Wilmington University was established by Michio Shibazaki, President of Taiken Academies in Tokyo.(4) They are of course Japanese, although they claimed that their institutions were not Japanese but American universities.
●What were their business types?
While IOND University is registered as a profit corporation in Japan, IOND University in Hawaii was registered as a domestic nonprofit corporation. By contrast, the exact name of Taiken Wilmington University was Taiken Wilmington University Inc., because it was registered not as a domestic nonprofit corporation but as a domestic profit corporation.
●What were the purposes of their incorporation?
The written purpose of IOND University was “to provide & conduct education & training in the arts & science of hypnotism as well as other arts & sciences in pursuit of mutual understanding, friendship, and goodwill.” It is impossible for a university to get accredited with such a purpose, and actually IOND had never been accredited.
On the other hand, that of Taiken Wilmington University was “to operate a university to provide educational services to international students.”(5) It is not difficult to assume that the international students here meant the Japanese students.
●Who were the officers?
The following names with the titles appear in the Article of Incorporation of IOND University as well as in its Business Information (1999):
Shimizu, Tohru President
Nakano, Ikuo Vice President
Komatsu, Joji Treasurer
Garcia, Arnold Jr Director
Onose, Masatoshi Director
Kawazoe, Hiroki Director
The Article of Incorporation of Taiken Wilmington University (1997) shows the names of its officers with the titles as follows:
Shibaoka, Michio President
Yamatoku, Masayuki Vice President
Shibaoka, Hiromi Treasurer
Masutani, Kazuo Secretary
Chiu, Cheng Lu Director
Most of the officers including the presidents were Japanese, despite their claim that their institutions were American universities. (6)
●Where were they located in Hawaii?
The mailing address of IOND University was at:
140 Liliuokalani Ste 107
Honolulu, Hawaii 96815
It was the address of a hotel, whose room IOND University rent but the contract was cancelled in or before 2007 because the rent was unpaid.（7）
The address of Taiken Wilmington University was at:
430 Lanipuao St
Honolulu, Hawaii 96825
“The Bears' Guide to Earning Degrees by Distance Learning”(2003) reports that “TWU was advertising in the USA Today in mid-1997. When they called to request literature, the woman answering the phone said that she didn't know where the university was located. “（8） Her phone answer suggests that TWU was a diploma mill.
●How many times did they change their names and why?
Diploma mills often change names to escape from claims and lawsuits. In other words, the institutions which change names frequently are likely to be diploma mills.
From 2000 to 2002, the State of Hawaii investigated IOND University (Hawaii) in doubt that it was violating the state law.(9）Thereafter, IOND University changed the names as follows:
2002 From IOND University to Hawaii IOND University
2002 From Hawaii IOND University to Diamond Head University
2003 From Diamond Head University back to IOND University
On the other hand, the name change of Taiken Wilmington University is more complicated and the reasons and time remain unclear:
1989 Taiken International University Japan（closed in 1992）
1990 Kensington University (incorporated in Hawaii)(closed in 2003)
1993 Taiken Wilmington University Tokyo campus
1995 Wilmington University (incorporated in California)
1997 Taiken Wilmington University Inc. (incorporated in Hawaii)
1998 Name Change from Taiken Wilmington University Tokyo campus to Taiken Wilmington University Japan
Taiken Wilmington University had to be incorporated in the U.S., because, strangely enough, its Tokyo campus was open four years before.
Bears Guide states:
“There may also be or have been a connection either with Kensington University or former Kensington personnel, which we continue to look into.”（10）
Bears' Guide also indicates:
“It may have been the same as or affiliated with Taiken University and may have had some connection to Kensington.”（11）
As for Kensington University, the State of Hawaii states:
“The judgment remains completely unsatisfied and has been deemed uncollectible within the state of Hawaii. Although incorporated in Hawaii, KU was based in the state of California. KU’s Hawaii corporation was dissolved by court order on October 29, 2003.”（12）
Taiken Kensington University had a website at www.taikenwu.edu with an address in Japan, which is the same as that of Taiken Academies. It appears that Taiken Wilmington University and Taiken Kensington University were the same.
●Why were they involuntarily dissolved?
IOND University in Hawaii was sued by the State of Hawaii in September 2007 in violation of the state law. The final judgment stated:
“Among other things, the Court found that IOND University in Hawaii has never issued any degrees. The Court also found that IOND University's catalogs and websites contained false statements and that, when examined beyond the website, IOND University was a sham educational operation.”（13）
The sham educational operation mentioned above means that IOND University in Hawaii existed only in the website which IOND was operating in Japan. IOND denied the final judgment and appealed the decision of the Court, but the appeal was subsequently dismissed.
The State of Hawaii mentions:
“The judgment remains in full force and effect. IOND University has failed to satisfy the judgment and it remains completely unsatisfied and has been deemed uncollectible within the State of Hawaii. “（14）
The State of Hawaii finally dissolved IOND University in December 2009, as IOND did not comply with the final judgment.
The following is the annual filings of Taiken Wilmington University:
The State of Hawaii warned Taiken Wilmington University in 2003:
“Unless all delinquent annual reports are filed in this department by the due date together with the filing fees and penalties, your company shall be administratively dissolved by the Director of Commerce and Consumer Affairs as provided by Section.”（15）
The Director finally dissolved Taiken Wilmington University because TWU continued to ignore the warning and failed to file its annual statements.
It turned out that both IOND University and Taiken Wilmington University had been sham educational operations in that they had been engaged in degree business in Japan, taking advantage of incorporation in Hawaii; they had been operating the websites from Japan as if the main campuses had been in Hawaii.
Involuntary dissolution discussed in this paper is unknown in Japan, because the Japanese mass media never reports it, assuming that it has nothing to do with Japan. However, we need to consider it to be a Japanese domestic problem as well, as it is a result of the cases that the Japan based diploma mills caused, detouring the United States.
Acknowledgements: I am grateful to Mr. Jeffrey Brunton, Dr. John Bear, and the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs of the State of Hawaii for their cooperation concerning my request and inquiry.
(2) Kojima, Shigeru, “Degree of Fraud and Civil Enforcement Lawsuits: A Case of “State of Hawaii vs. IOND University, Review of Administration and Informatics, 2008 October, Vol.21. No.1 pp.21-34.
(4) See Hino's diploma mill blog (http://d.hatena.ne.jp/Bandoalpha)
(6) The Article of Incorporation can be obtained from the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs in the State of Hawaii by request.
(7) Kojima (2008)
(8) Bear, John. “Bear’s guide to Earning Degrees by distances Learning 15th Edition 2003” Berkeley: Speed Press, 2003.
(9) Kojima (2008)
(10) Bear’s Guide (2003)
(15) A letter of 2003 from the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs in the State of Hawaii to Taiken Wilmington University
University of Shizuoka