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Top Mitsui Officials Resign

September 4, 2002

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TOKYO (AP) _ The president of Mitsui and Co. said Wednesday that he and another senior company official will resign from the nation’s second biggest trading company to take responsibility for a bid-rigging scandal.

President Shinjiro Shimizu, 64, and Chairman Shigeji Ueshima, 71, will resign from their positions on Sept. 30.

``I will take responsibility as top corporate manager,″ Shimizu told reporters at a news conference.

Shoei Utsuda, 59, Mitsui’s senior managing director, will take over as president and current vice president Nobuo Ohashi will become the new chairman, Shimizu said.

The company has been recently embarrassed by a slew of scandals. In July, Tokyo prosecutors arrested three Mitsui senior officials for allegedly bribing competing companies to win a contract for a construction project on Kunashiri, a northern island claimed by both Russia and Japan.

Two officials from Japan’s Foreign Ministry, who allegedly leaked information to the Mitsui officials, were also arrested.

Separately, Mitsui executives are now under investigation for allegedly paying a Mongolian official more than 1 million yen ($8,500) to win two major power projects funded by Japanese aid in the north Asian country.

On Monday, three top officials of Japan’s biggest utility provider, Tokyo Electric Power Co., announced their resignation for the company’s falsification of safety reports at its nuclear plants.

Update hourly