Woodford set to return to Japan to meet police

THE FORMER head of Olympus will return to Japan next week to meet police, despite previously saying he would not feel safe in the country.

Michael Woodford, ousted from the camera and endoscope firm after questioning suspect payments, is due to arrive on Wednesday to meet Japanese police, prosecutors and officials of regulator the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission.

Woodford fled Japan last month and had said he didn’t think it would be safe for him to return. The scandal has raised fears, denied by Olympus, that the deals could be linked to “anti-social forces”, a euphemism in Japan for organised crime.

Separately Nippon Life Insurance, Olympus’ top shareholder, has cut its stake from 8.18 per cent to 5.11 per cent but said it would continue to support the company.