Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Former Fujitsu President Sues After Termination

Ex President Kuniaki Nozoe Threatens to SueThe ex-president of Fujitsu, Kuniaki Nozoe, is now threatening to sue the IT services giant for damages over losses suffered by the company and has even asked the corporation to sue some of its own executives. What prompted the legal action from the former president was his forced resignation last September. This March he wrote the company asking that his resignation be nullified and reversed, a tactic which hasn't gone very well for the former president. In response, Fujitsu alluded that he had been forced to quit due to his ties with organized crime. In fact the board said it had previously warned Nozoe that such links were in conflict with "the Fujitsu Way".

Fujitsu first announced the resignation of Mr Nozoe in September 2009 citing health issues. However last month they admitted that the president had been forced out following an investigation into his business links. The investigation found that Mr Nozoe had a relationship with a third party company said to "have an unfavourable reputation" - a common phrase used in Japan to infer that one has ties to the Yakuza. Nozoe stated that his relationship was merely personal but upon being confronted with the allegations the board and Mr Nozoe agreed with one another to issue a statement attributing his departure to poor health rather than blame the unnamed third party. Although Nozoe did not break any laws Fujitsu maintains that he failed his duties as president.

The episode has since raised questions over the role of organized crime syndicates in big Japanese business. "The suggestion that a major Japanese company has been linked with the yakuza is not surprising," said Dr Seijiro Takeshita, a director at the Japanese bank Mizuho International "Associating with gangsters has often been a part of doing business in Japan - including even the banks." The Tokyo Stock Exchange has since given Fujitsu a strict warning over the issue.

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