The reported resignation Thursday of the top two executives of Nomura Holdings Inc. caps a remarkable year of upheaval and disgrace at a number of Japan Inc. icons. Does any bigger change follow? Or does corporate Japan's famous inertia and tendency to preserve the status quo prevail?
A few weeks before a spreading insider trading scandal claimed the leaders of Japan's largest brokerage, the long-time chairman of Japan's largest utility - Tokyo Electric Power Co. - quit amid widespread outrage over the bungled handling of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Blue-chip camera and medical equipment maker Olympus Corp. cleaned house after admitting to a long-running accounting fraud. One of Japan's largest paper companies, Daio Paper Corp., has been torn by divisions between the founding family and non-family management ever since the founder's grandson was arrested for allegedly instructing subsidiaries to transfer money to his personal bank account to pay for his gambling habit.
Meantime, even some of Japan's non-scandalized leading corporations have been rocked by weak earnings and slumping stock prices. The country's top three consumer electronics companies - Sony Corp. Panasonic Corp. and Sharp Corp. - combined to lose $16 billion in fiscal year ended March. All three replaced top executives in recent months, amid pledges of restructuring to improve performance.
The parents of a nightclub worker killed in an arson fire three years ago filed a suit in the Nagoya District Court on Monday seeking damages against top members of the Yamaguchi-gumi organized crime group. (Tokyo Reporter)
China's television regulator has ordered a crackdown on dramas about the country's battles with Japan during and before World War Two and demanded they be more serious, state media said on Friday, following viewer complaints about ludicrous storylines. (Reuters )