Woodford in Japan for Olympus showdown

Former Olympus chief executive Michael Woodford returned to Japan yesterday for a showdown with the board that fired him last month, which triggered one of the biggest scandals to hit corporate Japan.

The Briton, who remains a director of the company, will attend an Olympus board meeting on Friday and will also meet Japanese officials investigating various criminal allegations surrounding the camera and medical equipment maker.

Olympus initially denied wrongdoing but eventually acknowledged that exorbitant payments for financial advice and expensive acquisitions were used to cover up heavy investment losses from the 1990s.

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Woodford told the throngs of media gathered at Narita International that he is not afraid to be back in Japan and would press for answers during his stay. He has also confirmed he will seek to win his role back.

“This isn’t going to go away, the truth will come out,” he said. “Please now have the dignity, at least the dignity, to accept that the game is up.”

Woodford went public with his concerns after his sacking.

His itinerary includes the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department and the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission.