Corporate Brawl - Japanese Style

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Fujitsu, the Japanese tech company, has taken to the public airwaves to defend itself against charges that at forced its former president Kunaiki Nozoe to step down last September over unfounded allegations he was involved with the Japanese mafia.

In what has turned into some nasty corporate fisticuffs, Nozoe has publicly accused Fujitsu of canning him in a secret meeting with company executives instead of at an official meeting of the board. He has threatened a shareholder lawsuit accusing Fujitsu of misleading investor when it said Nozoe had resigned because of illness.

"We did not violate the law or take any improper steps with respect to Mr Nozoe's resignation," Fujitsu Chairman Michiyoshi Mazuka said at a news conference on Wednesday.

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Fujitsu, which had originally cited illness as the reason for Nozoe's resignation, was forced to revise its disclosure in a flip-flop that triggered a two-day slide in its share price and a verbal warning from the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The company has been under pressure to give a more detailed account of what happened, including addressing Nozoe's claim that he was pressured to resign in a closed-door chat with select executives, instead of in an official meeting of the board.

"Looking back, I think we should have dismissed him at a board meeting instead of using illness," Mazuka said.

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