Shareholder groups call for investigation into Olympus deals


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...and in come the lawyers. No chance of the Chairman and his board minions of stepping down now.

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Good......good.... things are happening. Maybe we'l get to the bottom of this. Hopefully we'll find some dirt.

My curiosity is this....if they should find some scandal or illegal doing with Mr. Woodford come back? Or will Mr. Woodford go for a wrongful termination suit and sue the pants off the company? Could he claim racism against the company. The man was clearly investigating wrongful doings.

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Good to see Woodford blowing the whistle on Olympus' nefarious practices, but a little strange that he worked for the company for 30 years and didn't say anything before now. Was he hoping to become the CEO so he could then reveal all he knew?

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Olympus shouldn't be setting up a committee to investigate, It should be up to the Japanese government and the Tokyo Stock Exchange to investigate. I remember the witch hunt for Mr Hori !!!! and he did jail time.

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@Michael, I for one would think that until he got to that position he had no access to the information he has now. There is a lot that goes on behind closed doors of every major corporation that the staff have no idea about what is going on. He became the CEO but until then he wasn't on the board was he?

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@Michael - also, did he work in japan for those 30 years?

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"The camera and medical equipment company said it was preparing to respond to shareholder concerns and promised to set up a panel of experts to investigate the issue."

Who do these guys think they are, the Japan Sumo Association? Can they just set up their own investigative panel to find them innocent of any blame after they 'prepare' to respond? Seriously... let the SHAREHOLDERS set up an investigative panel, if not the police!

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More and more this story has Hollywood written all over it. Wonder who will be playing Mr. Woodford? Kikukawa?

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I feel SO sorry for the honest, hardworking employees of Olympus, but I cant pretend for a second that I am not enjoying watching these fat cat rats squirming under the spotlight. They thought they were so big they were untouchable, but something tells me they are not going to be able to get away with this.

I also suspect there are several other big Japanese boardrooms across Tokyo watching these events unfold nervously.

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He became the CEO but until then he wasn't on the board was he?

he had been on the board as an Olympus executive in charge of European/British affairs. (and Gyrus is a British comapny) All the problems have been known for a long time. and, in recent months, the issues of Gyrus/others have been taken up repeatedly by magazines such as the very influential monthly Facta. (so, i was really surprised when Goldman Sachs announced last week that the share price of Olympus should rise to around 4,000 yen by next year. either extremely stupid or dirty.) actually,at the biginning of this year, Japanese observers had suspected that the kikukawa regime would not be able to last for more than a few months amid the growing, extremely harsh criticism from both within/outside the company, with regard to the Gyrus affairs . then abruply Mr.Kikukawa announced the appointment of Mr.Woodford (ex-salesman who cannot communicate in Japanese), causing the media sensation. That's why the Facta editor called the appointment as cheap "目くらまし" attempt to deflect the attention from these serious issues and prolong his reign. I have felt from the very beginning that the ridiculous promotion of this British ex-salesman to the post of president and equally ridiculous firing of him are all related to Olympus's disastrous purchases of the UK-based Gyrus/others.

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“We are preparing to set up a third-party committee, comprised of attorneys, accountants and other experts,” to probe the issue, the company said.

What? The same executives who engaged in shady business dealings at Olympus employees' and shareholders' expense are now taking charge of efforts to 'probe the issue'?

At this very moment they are surely working hard to cover up/destroy material evidence that implicates them in white-collar criminal activity. The authorities need to move a lot quicker than this in confiscating corporate documents and conducting a proper criminal investigation. If they drag their feet longer, there will be much less documentation left to go on.

Unlike Livedoor founder Hori, though, these Olympus execs are old guard, and plenty cozy with the regulators and politicians. They are stalling now, buying time. It will take a much greater measure of public/investor/employee outrage before the wheels of justice get into gear in this case.

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Piltdown Man: They are stalling now, buying time

well, as i suggested in my earlier post, the appointment of Mr.Woodford itself several months ago was their cheap "目くらまし" attempt to buy time, with the aim of temporarily deflecting the attention from these serious issues when they were under very strong domestic pressures to resign IMMEDIATELY.

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why doesn't this article mentioned the primary suspect, a japanese american wall st. cretin (jim sagawa) who resides in the usa, and his two front companies AXES and AXAM.

it would seem that there was basically some sort of ennoblement scheme with his counterparts at olympus in japan, and his being based "offshore" probably part of the strategy to hide the scam.

how much of the $687 million collected by AXES and AXAM came back to accounts of people connected to olympus?

it's funny that the amount paid in fees is almost exactly the amount the company subsequently wrote off on the "deals".

put all white collar scambags behind bars with hard labor, confiscate their property, and fine them on top of that.

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As usual everything will be swept under the carpet, someone will be identified as scapegoat, press conference will be called, there will be mass bowing with Taihen Moushiwakearimasen deshita comments and the media will forget about this as some new scandal will breakout. The person whowas made scapegoat will be taken care of by the system by an offer in some sister company or one of affiliate companies cushy jobs- nothing new here, same old same old.... Been watching this for past 12 years, nothing has changed and doubt if it will change going forward too.

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rarara, you always post the same stuff.

All the problems have been known for a long time. and, in recent months, the issues of Gyrus/others have been taken up repeatedly by magazines such as the very influential monthly Facta.

I do a search of the Japanese newspapers and can't find anything before this month.

With Facta, a magazine I'd never heard of before, I think it's just July and August.

Give us more examples of who and when has discussed this issue prior to June this year.

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this whole thing is getting uglier by the minute.....

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they should just work in an actual anti-corption system

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I hope this opens the corruptness of large Japanese companies

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Let's see how much dirt they can uncover

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Goals0 -

Not a lot has been reported, but...

Facta did comment on this issue and in fact it was these very same stories, when brought to Woodfords attention months ago, set him to confront Kikukawa about these matters.

After being told to the effect that he needn't worry about it (I mean he was only the president) he became determined to go out on his own fact finding mission.

Several months later and here we are. If I had to choose sides at the moment, I think I'd pick Woodfords - Kikukawas looking more and more like the house of cards.

But you never know.

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In light of the information disclosed in Woodfords letter, any shareholder in that company would want very much to ask the chairman a few questions!

If had shares in Olympus, I´d be boiling, that is for sure.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Rarara, I'm not sure your logic is sound. You would think that if Kikukawa was trying to cover up or deflect attention by appointing Woddford, Woodford would know not to look into the issue. Let's not forget, even with Facta looking at this and failing to influence anything, it's Woodford that's driving the public exposure of Kikukawa's potential malpractice with hard evidence.

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I am loving it. This is going to a cause a few things to happen. 1. foreigner are going to be hired less in Japan for positions 2. Fat cats are going to sweat it out for a few months 3. All will go back to normal here because no Japanese has the balls to report such issues in their own companies and no one looks into it and it is "the Japanese way"

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

when is the chairman going to jail

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One interesting thing is that one of the directors at Olympus is amakudari from the Nikkei group.

Which is why we couldn't expect the Nikkei Shimbun to have a lot of interest in reporting the scandals.

Kuruma, Hiroshi Brief Biography Mr. Hiroshi Kuruma has been serving as Independent Director of OLYMPUS CORPORATION since June 2011. He used to serve as Senior Managing Director of Nikkei Inc., Vice President of Nikkei Business Publications, Inc., as well as President of Aichi Television Broadcasting Co.,LTD.

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They are setting up a 3rd party to look into this. They never said "independent" which means they can guide the conclusions. And, who knows...maybe some of those lawyers and such are the ones that collected or are promised a chunk of the $700 million.

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Good. About time shareholders here started asserting their rights. This kind of corporate malfeasance is the rule rather than the exception in Japan, and is another in the long list of reasons Japan's corporations have a hard time becoming truly competitive on a global scale without all the government protections, especially of the stock market and acquisitions. Shields them from having to deliver decent profits and adhere to strict accounting methods. Which makes all this sort of ironic, since a Britsih company would likley have found it virtually impossible to make acquisitions in Japan. Bet the Chairman wished he'd never called that board meeting to oust Woodford. Shows how much he does not understand about Western mentality in that he apparently thought he'd just slink off quietly to his new non-executive position and keep the truth to himself, like any good Japanese executive would do.

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