Scandal Fallout Grows at Livedoor

23 January 2006

Tokyo prosecutors were preparing on Friday to question senior executives at the scandal-beset Livedoor internet and media company.

The fallout from allegations that one of the country's best known online businesses mishandled acquisitions to increase its stock value drove a panic-stricken Tokyo Stock Exchange into temporary closure last week.

Investigators are due to quiz company finance chief Ryoji Miyauchi and vp Fumito Kumagai and are reported to have Livedoor's maverick founder and ceo Takafumi Horie also in their sights.

The scandal has already apparently claimed the life of Hories's close associate Hideaki Noguchi [WAMN: 19-Jan-06], whose body was discovered in an Okinawan hotel room after he had been questioned.

The latest victim - although not in such tragic circumstances - is Yoshiaki Yamada, who on Friday resigned as non-executive director of Livedoor. He joined from Fuji TV just over a month ago after the broadcaster became Livedoor's second largest shareholder with a 12% stake.

The company confirmed Yamada's resignation in a statement to the stock exchange, but offered no reason for the move. Livedoor also strenuously denied it has breached any regulations.

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff