Japan must deal with Olympus issue to win trust: PM

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Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Friday said the scandal surrounding Olympus must be dealt with strictly in order for Japan to secure confidence in its financial markets.

"It is very regrettable that Olympus dealt with its financial accounting inappropriately," Noda told reporters, referring to Olympus' admission Tuesday that it concealed investment losses dating back to the 1990s.

"We have to address it sternly when such an inappropriate case surfaces. By doing so, I would like to secure confidence in Japan's financial market."

Noda's comments came after Japan on Friday pledged "rigorous investigations" into Olympus if it is found to have broken financial rules.

The rare comments on an individual company highlight Tokyo's growing concern about the fallout of the scandal on corporate Japan.

Pressure has mounted on the Japanese camera and precision equipment maker after the Tokyo Stock Exchange put it on delist watch on Thursday, amid reports police and other authorities were probing the firm.

Financial services minister Shozaburo Jimi said the Financial Services Agency, Japan's financial regulator, would "undertake necessary actions including rigorous investigations" wherever there were concerns over possible violations of financial rules.

© 2011 AFP

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