Newspaper Executive Resigns in Stock Scandal
TOKYO (AP) _ A senior executive of Japan’s largest newspaper resigned Monday to take responsibility for involving the prominent daily in a stock trading scandal, the newspaper reported.
An official of Yomiuri Shimbun said Iwao Maruyama, 67, vice president of the nationally circulated newspaper, had resigned, saying: ″I would like to take moral responsibility as I gave serious trouble to the Yomiuri newspaper.″
His resignation was accepted at a special board of directors meeting, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity,.
Maruyama bought 5,000 shares of Rescruit-Cosmos, a real estate firm, in the fall of 1986 before the stock was offered to the public.
On Saturday, a Yomiuri spokesman quoted Maruyama as saying he bought the shares ″without even knowing they were unlisted.″ Saturday night, Maruyama brought the actual shares to a news conference to prove he had not sold them for a profit.
The Yomiuri Shimbun said Monday in a statement: ″It is regrettable that he (Maruyama) had not disclosed his purchase of stock until recently as he is an executive of the newspaper that has been working to make clear the scandal.″
It said the newspaper’s investigation of the scandal would not be affected by Maruyama’s actions.
Maruyama was the second newspaper excutive to resign for involvement in the scandal. Ko Morita, president of the financial newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun, quit in July after his purchase of Recruit-Cosmos stock became known.
Recruit officials made the stock available to some of the nation’s top politicians, businessmen and journalists, who reaped huge proficts after the company was listed on the over-the-counter market in October 1986.
No laws were broken, but the transactions raised serious ethical questions about the ties between big business and politics in Japan. The government has since tightened the laws on insider stock trading, but the measures are not retroactive.
Prime Minister Nobuo Takeshita, Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa and former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone are among those who have acknowledged their aides bought Recruit stock, but they all have denied they knew about it at the time.
Opposition parties have charged that more than 1 million shares were involved and that Hiromasa Ezoe, who has since resigned as chairman of Recruit Corp., the parent company of Recruit-Cosmos, offered them to a few hundred prominent people in return for favors.
One of Ezoe’s aide, Hiroshi Matsubara, was arrested on bribery chares in October after he offered money to an opposition lawmaker in an effort to obtain a favorable investigation of Rescruit-Cosmos in Parliament.