Nov. 24 - Former Olympus CEO Michael Woodford meets Tokyo prosecutors, a day before attending a board meeting for a showdown with the directors who fired him. Rough cut (No reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION). Former Olympus CEO Michael Woodford met with Tokyo prosecutors Thursday (November 24), day before attending a board meeting for a showdown with the directors who fired him. Woodford is also expected to meet police and officials at Japan's securities watchdog. After initial denials, Olympus admitted this month it used M&A payments to help hide losses on securities investments for two decades, blaming three executives including former president and chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa. But where the money trail leads is a mystery, fanning speculation of links between "yakuza" gangsters and the murky payments Olympus made for its acquisitions. Shadowy ties between crime syndicates and Japanese firms have existed for decades. Tokyo prosecutors, police and the securities watchdog are conducting a rare joint probe of the scandal, which had initially forced Woodford to leave Japan due to what he called security concerns. But Woodford returned after assurances from Japanese police that he would be provided adequate protection. "I feel fine, it's a beautiful morning here in Tokyo and I'm looking forward to meeting with the Tokyo prosecutor staff," Woodford told reporters as he entered the prosecutors' offices on Thursday. He declined to comment on what exactly he was due to talk to with the prosecutors, but he added he was not nervous. "No I'm not nervous, I feel fine, thank you," he said when asked by reporters. Olympus fired Woodford on Oct. 14, asserting he did not understand Japanese culture or the firm's management style. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH FORMER OLYMPUS CEO MICHAEL WOODFORD, 51, SAYING: "I feel fine, it's a beautiful morning here in Tokyo and I'm looking forward to meeting with the Tokyo prosecutor staff. I don't really want to go into the discussions, that's private, between me and the prosecutor's office. Thank you very much. No I'm not nervous, I feel fine, thank you."