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The outsider

Was the Olympus scandal unique or does it reveal something rotten in Japan?

By Leo Lewis   January 2013

Michael Woodford arriving at the Tokyo headquarters of Olympus (photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images)

On 20th April, wearing his late father’s cufflinks for luck, Michael Woodford, the former president of Olympus in Japan, took a taxi from Shinjuku to Akasaka. For seven months, accounts of his courage and tenacity had captured the public imagination in Japan and around the world. Even hard news reporting of his story and exit from the company was laced with awe. Before leaving the Park Hyatt that morning, a Japanese MP told the 51-year-old…

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