Former Olympus Corp. Chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa received a suspended sentence for his role in a $1.7 billion accounting fraud that caused the Japanese camera maker's market value to plunge 80 percent.
Olympus itself, also the world's largest maker of endoscopes, was ordered to pay 700 million yen ($7 million) in fines by Tokyo District Judge Hiroaki Saito today. Former Olympus Executive Vice President Hisashi Mori and Hideo Yamada, a former auditing officer, also got suspended sentences.
Judge Saito's decision comes almost two years after revelations that the company had falsified financial reports to conceal losses on investments. The sentences reflect the defendants' claims that former Olympus presidents Masatoshi Kishimoto and Toshiro Shimoyama made the decision to hide losses, while he inherited the aftermath.
"Kikukawa and Yamada succeeded in a negative legacy and weren't involved in the decision-making process to hide losses," Saito said in court today. "They were distressed and didn't benefit personally from hiding losses. Mori followed their orders."
The camera maker still faces lawsuits by investors including State Street Bank and Trust & Co. and Government of Singapore Investment Corporation Pte Ltd. in a joint complaint seeking 19.1 billion yen in damages.
The probability for the Kanto region to be hit by a powerful earthquake - lower 6 or higher on the Japanese intensity scale of 7 - within 30 years has risen, the government panel's latest quake probability map showed Friday. (The Japan News)
Sales of special Suica cards to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the opening of Tokyo Station were canceled soon after they began Saturday, as a large crowd of people flooded the area. (The Japan News)
The Niigata prefectural government started clearing a section of National Highway Route 405 in Tsunan in the prefecture on Friday, after a landslide mixed with snow blocked off about 50 meters of the road the night before. (The Japan News)
The Chiba Public Safety Commission has banned a 29-year-old man from Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, from riding a bicycle for 90 days, after he was found guilty of cycling under the influence of "kiken" quasi-legal drugs. (Japan Times)