Olympus crisis: Japan PM enters fray; UK fears
Japan’s Prime Minister has warned that the controversy dogging Olympus threatens to damage the country’s global reputation and demanded the camera maker fully explains high fees paid to advisers.
The news comes as the UK photo industry voices its concern for the future of the Olympus brand as the company faces scrutiny by fraud investigators.
In what is seen as a rare move by a Japanese prime minister, Yoshihiko Noda told the Financial Times: ‘What worries me is that it will be a problem if people take the events at this one Japanese company and generalise from that to say Japan is a country that [does not follow] the rules of capitalism. Japanese society is not that kind of society.’
Meanwhile, the Photo Marketing Association (PMA), an international trade body, has expressed its fears for the future of the company which produced its first camera, the Semi-Olympus 1, in 1936.
PMA’s director of UK operations, Nigel McNaught, told Amateur Photographer: ‘Olympus is a very strong and respected brand both within the trade and by the consumer.
‘We would hope that there is no negative impact on their image and profile as a manufacturer of high-quality photo goods.’
Olympus UK and Olympus Europe have so far declined to comment on the crisis that led to the sacking of the firm’s British CEO Michael Woodford who questioned payments made to financial advisers.
The company's share price tumbled following Woodford's dismissal.
Olympus denies any wrongdoing.
Olympus Tokyo has yet to respond to our request for comment this morning.