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.
A total of six ruling and opposition parties resubmitted to the House of Representatives a bill to revise the Public Offices Election Law and to lower the voting age to 18 or older from the current 20 or older. The bill is highly likely to pass at the current Diet session. (The Japan News)
The popular "pear fairy" cartoon mascot Funassyi held its first press conference with the foreign media in Tokyo on Thursday, saying its unlikely path to success is a symbol of the country's admiration of perseverance in the face of adversity. (Japan Times)
One of the two 17-year-olds arrested over the killing of a 13-year-old boy last month along the Tama River in Kawasaki has admitted to harming the victim but said he was only following the orders of an older teenager also in custody, investigative sources said Thursday. (Japan Times)
One of the things that makes Japan such a compelling place is the country's long cultural history. The upkeep of centuries-old buildings can be extremely expensive, however, especially since traditional Japanese architecture is mainly wood, reed, and paper, which aren't exactly the sturdiest building materials. (rocketnews24.com)
A total of 706 incidents linked to "dangerous," or quasi-legal, drugs were detected by police in Japan in 2014, up 5.6-fold from the preceding year, the National Police Agency said Thursday. (Jiji Press)
A report released Wednesday by the International Narcotics Control Board revealed that Mexican drug cartels have extended their reach to Japan, where methamphetamine seizures have doubled compared to the previous year. (UPI)
Japan's idol world is quite…expansive, for lack of a better word. Even with the wide variety of groups running around, it can be hard to really tell them apart-though we have to say there was no mistaking Osaka's Obachaaan for any other group. (rocketnews24.com)
Microsoft Corp. cofounder Paul Allen said on Twitter Tuesday the Imperial Japanese Navy's World War II battleship Musashi has been found at the bottom of the Sibuyan Sea off the central Philippines. (Jiji Press)