05 September 2002 04:33 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (CNI)—The chairman, president, vice-president and a director of Japanese chemicals trading powerhouse Mitsui & Co have resigned following two graft scandals which have battered the company’s share price and led to three other company executives being arrested, a company spokesman told CNI on Thursday.
The latest scandal, which led to the resignation of Mitsui's top management, follows allegations that the company bribed a Mongolian official to win a contract to build power generators.
The first scandal, which happened in July, saw three other Mitsui executives indicted and imprisoned for allegedly obtaining details about the budget for a contract to build a power plant on the disputed island of Kunashiri, which both Russia and Japan claim as sovereign territory. Two of the three employees who were jailed have since been released, but one of them continues to be held in police custody.
The company has admitted no wrongdoing, but the scandals have seen its share price fall to Yen610 ($5.16/Euro5.20)/share on Thursday - a fall of 26% since July.
The spokesman said Ohashi Nobuo, 63, would take over as company chairman, replacing Ueshima Shigegi, 70.
Shinjiro Shimizu, 64, has resigned as president and will be replaced by Utsuda Shoei, 59.
"In order to help rebuild trust in our company once again, I will be stepping down as president," Japanese media reported Shimizu as telling a news conference, adding: "I am deeply sorry from the bottom of my heart."
The spokesman said Tashiro Jun, 62, had relinquished his vice-presidency and Yoshida Haruhiko had stepped down as one of the director’s of the company. These two senior officers of the company have not been replaced to date.
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