Page last updated at 10:14 GMT, Wednesday, 14 April 2010 11:14 UK

Fujitsu rejects Nozoe claims over organised crime links

Kuniaki Nozoe
Kuniaki Nozoe said he was wrongly ousted for alleged crime links

Fujitsu, Japan's largest IT services firm, has defended its actions in a row with the firm's former president about his alleged links to organised crime.

In a statement, Fujitsu said it did nothing wrong over the resignation last September of Kuniaki Nozoe, who it was said at the time suffered ill health.

But last month Mr Nozoe claimed that he was ousted after being wrongly linked with criminal organisations.

Fujitsu now says he was warned about his dealings with "anti-social forces".

The phrase is widely seen as a euphemism for organised crime. Mr Nozoe, president of Fujitsu for just 15 months, has categorically denied any such link.

Fujitsu's five-page statement, issued at a press conference in Tokyo, is the company's first comment since Mr Nozoe made his claims about the reason for his resignation.

He lacked the sense of risks he should have as a president
Michiyoshi Mazuka, Futjitsu chairman

According to Fujitsu's statement Mr Nozoe was involved in an investment fund that had links to Japan's criminal underworld.

Mr Nozoe was warned of the problem by Naoyuki Akikusa, a senior executive adviser, according to the statement.

Despite the warning, Fujitsu said Mr Nozoe continued his relations with a representative of the fund, and so he was asked by the board to resign.

"Mr Nozoe was calling it a suspicious fund himself, yet he still kept his relationship. He lacked the sense of risks he should have as a president," Futjitsu's chairman Michiyoshi Mazuka told the press conference.

Fujitsu also apologised for originally saying that Mr Nozoe resigned due to ill health, saying that the explanation had caused embarrassment to investors and the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Mr Nozoe was not immediately available for comment, but has previously denied being warned about the fund.

The issue has fascinated corporate Japan, as executives commonly "go quietly" rather than voice their grievances in public.



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