Former Olympus CEO Michael Woodford was mobbed by photographers and TV crews on his first return to Japan since he blew the whistle on suspicious multi-million dollar payments.


Woodford has flown to Tokyo for meetings with Japanese authorities and a board meeting with his former Olympus colleagues.

?The Briton walked into Narita airport?s arrival hall… to be greeted by a scrum of television crews and photographers, who were kept at bay by about half a dozen handlers,? reported news agency Bloomberg.

Last week, in an interview with Amateur Photographer (AP), Woodford said he was confident that Japanese authorities would ensure his personal safety, but he added: ‘You’d be foolish to be arrogant and not prudent about it.’

Woodford (pictured) has also liaised with the Metropolitan Police in London about his security arrangements but refused to discuss details.

He told AP: ‘In a sense, what I know is out there ? it’s now for others to follow and to explore the detail. I’m not somebody who knows what they [Olympus] were doing.?

Since Olympus dismissed Woodford, citing a clash of management styles, the firm admitted a financial cover-up stretching back 20 years.

There have been press reports that the dubious transactions – related to companies acquired by Olympus – are linked to Japanese crime syndicates, known as yakuza.

On Monday Olympus said its own investigation had found no evidence of links to the criminal underworld.

In a subsequent interview with the Financial Times, Woodford said Olympus’s swift denial undermined the credibility of the third-party panel the firm set up to look into the payments.

He said it would take ‘thousands of hours’ of forensic work to establish any links to organised crime.

To read AP’s interview with Michael Woodford see HERE

Picture credit: C Cheesman


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