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.
At least 27 people were confirmed dead and 10 remain missing after a series of landslides triggered by torrential rain overnight engulfed residential areas in Hiroshima, western Japan, on Wednesday, the National Police Agency said. (Kyodo)
The sports ministry has deemed a proposal to renovate the National Stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics unrealistic, because of a number of drawbacks including insufficient earthquake resistance and building regulations that prohibit the blocking of sunlight from nearby structures. (The Japan News)
East Japan Railway Co., or JR East, announced new plans on Tuesday for three train lines linking Tokyo International Airport at Haneda and key stations in the Japanese capital by building a new underground station and tunnel. (Jiji Press)
The chief suspect in the murder of a wealthy Swiss-based Japanese asset manager and his wife whose bodies were found buried in a vacant lot in Kuki, Saitama Prefecture, in February 2013, pleaded not guilty as his trial opened in Tokyo on Tuesday. (Japan Today)
Local summer festivals in Tokyo were once lined with many street stalls run by organizations with links to organized crime. But festivals have undergone a makeover after a metropolitan government ordinance enacted in October 2011 banned event organizers from allowing gangs from becoming involved. (The Japan News)
A Sapporo assemblyman has drawn fire for posting comments online stating the indigenous Ainu group "no longer exists," and suggesting those who identify as Ainu are motivated by government programs that benefit the ethnic minority. (Japan Times)