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Japan Bank Executives Plead Guilty

January 12, 1998

TOKYO (AP) _ Four former executives of a major Japanese bank pleaded guilty Monday to charges they paid off the racketeer at the center of a scandal that has tainted some of the country’s top companies.

The four are among 11 former executives of Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank indicted for dealing with Ryuichi Koike, a self-confessed ``sokaiya″ racketeer who threatened to disrupt shareholders’ meetings unless he was paid off.

``I will accept the court’s judgment,″ Tsuneo Uchida, former bank vice-president, was quoted as saying by a Tokyo District Court official. ``I am sorry for causing a stir that has affected the public.″

The other three were Kenji Tanaka, former senior managing director, Hiroshi Inotsume, former managing director, and Tatsuo Shibuya, former general affairs department chief.

Koike has acknowledged taking bribes of $5.3 million from Japan’s four top brokerages _ Nomura Securities Co., Daiwa Securities Co., Nikko Securities Co. and Yamaichi Securities Co.

He also reportedly admitted taking a loan of $91 million from Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank _ one of the world’s largest. He is believed to have used the money to buy the shares needed to gain admission to the brokerages’ annual shareholders’ meetings.

Hearings for the seven other Dai-Ichi Kangyo officials on trial are scheduled for Wednesday and Friday.

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