Former Olympus boss Woodford arrives in Japan for crunch talks

FORMER Olympus chief executive Michael Woodford returned to Tokyo yesterday for a meeting with investigators and a showdown with his former board colleagues.

As speculation grew of possible links between shadowy payments by Olympus and organised crime, Woodford landed with little fanfare at Tokyo’s Narita airport, to be met by an assistant and about 30 reporters. There was no sign of extra security.

The Briton blew the whistle on accounting tricks at the camera and endoscope maker after his sacking a month ago.

Olympus has since admitted to hiding hundreds of millions in losses and to using merger and acquisition payments to aid the cover-up.

Woodford said Tokyo police were best able to get to the truth. Each suspicious payment should be looked at “forensically”, he said. He is due to meet prosecutors, regulators and police today and Olympus directors tomorrow.

He arrived as US investor Southeastern Asset Management, said foreign investors are being frozen out of an Olympus-appointed investigation into why at least $1.3bn (£837m) was spent on obscure acquisitions and fees.