In a move that is as difficult to interpret as any other in the massive two-month-old accounting scandal at Olympus, Japanese authorities raided the headquarters of Olympus in Tokyo on Wednesday as well as the offices of three companies used in the accounting fraud and the home of ousted Board Chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa.
The subtexts appear to involve a reassurance to investors and the public that the proper steps are being taken to resolve any illegalities, against a backdrop of a continuing struggle between ousted President Michael Woodford and the Olympus Board of Directors. That drama appears to have taken a nationalistic turn: Woodford has marshalled foreign investors who support his return to the head of the company, which would involve purging the entire current Board, and the Board is apparently jockeying to increase Japanese investment in order to decrease the influence of foreign investors, as a means of shoring up support for themselves.
The New York Times reports that Olympus executives could still face jail time, Olympus could still be delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange, and that the scandal casts "a shadow" over the company's "long-term viability."
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