crime

Olympus admits hiding losses dating back to 1990s

51 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2011 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

51 Comments
Login to comment

It took an outsider just 2 weeks to expose more than a decade's worth of cooking the books.

Is that a good thing, or a cautionary tale for hiring companies in the future?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

That's called nipping the problem in the bud with a good lie. Close the investigation quickly by confessing to a lesser evil.

Now, lets talk "Ishario". "Show Mr. Woodford the money" Lets talk about how much money Olympus is going to pay Mr. Woodford for wrongfully terminating him and publicly embarrassing him..

This is the perfect example for any foreigners here in Japan trying to get to the top in a Japanese company. They will can you like all the rest if you ask questions. You may sit in the CEO's chair but that doesn't make you THE MAN. You just sit there. That's the mindset here.

Sue them. Mr. Woodford please make an example of them. Take Olympus to court for every dime you can get.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

This is what happens when you put mendokusai foreigners in charge of Japanese companies...

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

I feel good for Woodford and hope that Olympus does the right thing and puts him back in charge.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Apology not accepted -- you should be off to jail. But this IS Japan, so a bow will suffice instead while others take the fall. There's a reason it's putting a dent in trust towards investing in Japanese companies; BECAUSE THEY REFUSE TO CHANGE!

Seriously, though... this puts even normal scandals here to shame, and of course they denied it until caught without a doubt by the investigating committee. If they had not been caught, they would still be denying any wrong doing, as they did up to yesterday and before this announcement.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Ah the good old we have bowed so all's forgiven. Not likely, you still owe Woodford an apology afterall if it wasnt for him you incompetent old men would have got away with your dirty little scam.

Maybe the entire board should quit and Woodford be rehired afterall it was him that was doing what you incompetents couldnt do.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Done nothing wrong? Done nothing illegal? These were statements from these bozo's. They need to be jailed, but I seriously doubt we are hearing the truth.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Very convieient, no mention of the holders of the Caman Island accounts! They lost money and wrote off more to cover the original loss. Look forward to the continuing unraveling of this story.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

100% agreement with SmithInJapan! plus way too little and TOO LATE by stupid Olympus!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Ponzi look alike scheme. Maybe Madoff was running it for them.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

namabiru4me

WOAH!!! Thank you Nambiru4me for the link. They are still trying to stick it to Mr. Woodford. Unbelieveable!!!

OH I hate these guys. I hope America sticks it to them in the U.S. These guys need some jail time. That's cold-blooded.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Levity here folks, does anyone actually think that ANY corporation Japanese or otherwise is automatically going to fess up to wrong doing before any type of investigation occurs? Let's get real folks, even convicted felons claim their innocence BEFORE they are convicted.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

from another paper, woodford said that he would come back to olympus if they asked him to. uhhh...earth to woodford, you royally screwed up your company by exposing its corruption. there's not a chance in saitama you're getting your job back.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Probably they thought he will be harmless... In the same time no Japanese in his right mind will do this to his company. In a way I feel sorry for the name "Olympus" and for the engineers and hard working people who invented their products and are on the production lanes. They don't deserve this humiliation and eventual lost of their jobs. I hate the greedy system we live in and hope with the latest movements something can be changed to better.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Good job, Michael Woodford! But I'm afraid that he won't be hired by other companies.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good job, Michael Woodford! But I'm afraid that he won't be hired by other companies.

The competition should hire him, any company hiring him would see a boost in the share price as it would signal, they are serious about getting the job done and have nothing to hide... the added bitter taste in Woodfords mouth would work to the new companies advantage.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

and JUST HOW LONG DID IT TAKE??? i suppose it was pretty fast considering this is japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That will be the last time you see a foreigner as a CEO of a major Japanese company unless he signs a "staying in your lane" contract.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

with around 70% now wiped from the company’s share value since Oct 13, the day before Woodford’s ouster.

To feel envy is human, to savour schadenfreude is devilish...unless you're Mr. Woodford. It must feel quite good!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Has anyone asked their Japanese friends about this? I asked around last week at a table of 10 of us and not one actually knew about it. Of course, it's not like I find finance issues of great interest to me back home either but this one did stand out because of Mr. Woodford.

The shares are down 70%. Do people feel this is because of panic or is it well deserved?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All the comments are interesting. But they are mainly by Gaijin's and not Japanese. They do not represent thoughts and feelings of Japanese person. I really wonder and would love to know from someone as to how do an avaerage Japanese person think about the Olympus episode. Do they really see the problem in governance of Japanese companies or they think Micahel Woodford was pain in ass.

My guess is that every Japanese person knows and accept this type of frauds. They see it everyday at work and dont see any problem. On the other hand they must be thinking that Michael Woodford was problem and never allow Gaijin in management. An average Japanese person would also accept the bows and aplogies and forgive Olympus. Lets see the share price tomorrow is it returns to normal...

Please help me to understand what Japanese are thinking thru blogs or other sources.

Rob

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I really wonder and would love to know from someone as to how do an avaerage Japanese person think about the Olympus episode.

I assure you the average Japanese is hardly surprised that a company could commit this type of fraud and that they do see it as a problem. I highly doubt the average Japanese will forgive the leadership at Olympus that commited the fraud. If the people responsible are gone, the company can then be forgiven.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lying cheating ducking diving, why wouldn't they ! This is how you do business in Japan, only one rule - Do Not Get Caught !

2 ( +3 / -1 )

My Japanese mate a financial and investment broker here in Japan says it's frustrating but thats the way things roll in Japan. He knows it's holding back Japan inc but with the heads of companies being brought up feeding on the fat of the lamb what do they know about change? It will take more crisis to drastically alter things, BTW he is moving his family to Australia (5 people). He just bought himself a house and business there. Asks me why I am still here, good question.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bye-bye Olympus - the company is gooooone for sure and certain! I am getting images of a trip to the forest at the foot of Fuji-san with a couple pieces of rope for this Takayama grub and his buffoon sidekick Kawamata...not that I wish it, but it will likely happen. They are probably too cowardly to face up to any enquiries...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

PS Only last week there was a report on here stating that Japan is the "4th cleanest" nation in the OECD terms of companies doing business. Report = EPIC FAIL!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Good job, Michael Woodford! But I'm afraid that he won't be hired by other companies

I think he still works for Olympus - he was fired as CEO but is still a director of the firm. Perhaps he will be the only clean enough to take the position.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I assure you the average Japanese is hardly surprised that a company could commit this type of fraud and that they do see it as a problem. I highly doubt the average Japanese will forgive the leadership at Olympus that commited the fraud. If the people responsible are gone, the company can then be forgiven.

Yeah the only thing the average Japanese is probably thinking is that these idiots were dumb enough to get caught and should be hung out to dry!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yep, save your bowing, you have all lost your jobs and someone is going to jail. Guess you thought the dumb Brit would never figure it out, LOL. This is really pathetic. All of the board needs to be fired. All the executives need to be fired. Bring the Brit back to clean house.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'd be feeling pretty peeved if I were an employee who had been told the company can't afford to pay more out in salaries.

$687 million in advisory fees? And nobody noticed that? Do they have accountants and auditors in Japan?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Gee the tax office all these years must have really been doing their jobs, NOT!

Folks, you can bet this is much bigger than Olympus! Accounting is a black black hole in Japan, believe NOTHING anyone shows you, you need to assume its cooked because it likely is OVER cooked!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Cleaning up this mess will be as enjoyable as colonic irrigation, but there's no other way to clean the back passage of Olympus. Depending on what is found in the details, Olympus could be delisted from the stock exchange. Expect the share value to keep dropping. I feel sorry for the employees who have been completely let down by their so-called leaders.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Japanese investors and investment funds and its members have to be pissed, losing a lot of money on the falling value of the stock, or in the first place, tricked into investing believing the Olympus financials are in sound footing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Gee the tax office all these years must have really been doing their jobs, NOT!

Folks, you can bet this is much bigger than Olympus! Accounting is a black black hole in Japan, believe NOTHING anyone shows you, you need to assume its cooked because it likely is OVER cooked!

Enron! ;)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Majority of Japanese consider anything good for the corporations (or, for that matter, for the state) is good for them. Is it just? That's not too important.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The unfortunate victims are Mr Woodward and theose nameless people who have worked their life for Olympus. Even if the company survivies, it will never be the same. This was once a company which made japan proud, maybe not som,uch for caemras but for their endoscope business. We focus on Mr Woodward for being wronged, and kikukawa and co for beingcorrupt in hiding such losses and blaming Woodward; but have pity for those working for Olympus who had no knowledge that the senior management were hiding such losses. They are the ones, who may now end up paying the real price by losing their jobs...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If MW is brought back to lead and clean house, and the rest of the board fall on their proverbial swords, there's a very reasonable chance that the Olympus brand may still retain its value worldwide; but it must be done without further delay. As things stand, those old suits will just continue to sully the name.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Thank you, Olympus. You lived down to my lowest expectation of a Japanese company and demonstrated conclusively what myself and others have been saying for years -- that the Japan system of inter-holdings, with strictly inside directors and little or no real governance, is a cancer that will never allow Japan to compete on a global basis for capital. Japanese people know this. That is why they'd rather put their savings in Japan Post and make .25% interest than put it in a 401K that involves stock ownership. Japanese "profits" are all illusionary because of all these stock ownerships. Ghosn knew that. And that's why he got Nissan out of all these deals as one of his first order of business.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

No confidence vote to many immoral Japanese executives including TEPCO and Olympus. They all deserve to go to jail, not a Country Club.

In global economy we live in today, this news will spread to the world very quickly how bad Japanese executives are immune to criminal wrong doings as nobody is enforcing the law in Japan. We will see if Japanese government (General Attorney of Japan) has guts to start prosecuting them, otherwise, I would not buy anything made in Japan..

1 ( +2 / -1 )

You're wondering what the consequences would be for these people? Take a look at the picture in the article. That's all, folks!

Remember what happened with Tepco falsifying nuclear plant safety reports? Nothing, that's what happened! Aniki's were just shuffled cosmetically. Crime pays big time. Only a fool would invest in Japan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

hope they dont get delisted, would be a good stock to buy

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Imagine if the Enron or Worldcom guys just bowed and apologized.. what a load of crap!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I WANT TO SEE SOME PUNISHMENT!!!!! these greedy ba$dard$ in japan have been getting away with a bow, resign and a pension. yeah - ENRON LEHMAN MADOFF - now there`s punishment. no "so sorry to have caused problems" crap. ok, i know it is a "culture" thing but come on - baddies are going to have to start to pay!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

An opportunity for Kodak or GE to buy up the shares and turn the company around.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The tragedy here is that Olympus is a very good product. They make superb optical devices and always have. The Olympus Pen cameras of the late 60s were way ahead of their time and the company was innovative. One hopes there is still a future without the meatballs at the top.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

it's all just a regrettable misunderstanding, accept their deepest apologies innit

0 ( +1 / -1 )

rdinero35: "All the comments are interesting. But they are mainly by Gaijin's and not Japanese. They do not represent thoughts and feelings of Japanese person."

Given that part of the weight of the scandal here is that it could harm foreign investment in Japanese companies, I'd say foreign input is extremely important.

"I really wonder and would love to know from someone as to how do an avaerage Japanese person think about the Olympus episode."

You won't hear from too many. While it's been widely reported in the media here, it's seen largely as yet ANOTHER embarrassment by a Japanese firm, and so people tend to be mum on the issue.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Smitty

It's everywhere. Blogs, forums and 2 chan. Please.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If MW is brought back to lead and clean house, and the rest of the board fall on their proverbial swords, there's a very reasonable chance that the Olympus brand may still retain its value worldwide; but it must be done without further delay. As things stand, those old suits will just continue to sully the name.

There's still the FBI investigation, and the possibility that other financial shenanigans will be found. Analysts are saying not to buy Olympus shares just yet.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Is this it? If all the dirt is out now, maybe it is time to buy some Olympus shares? Or how much deeper does the rabbit hole go?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I still can't see good reasons for using losses on investments to cover losses on investments, unless the covered losses were worse (in some legal sense) than the coverying losses.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites