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More job losses in Japan

Tokyo, May 31 () Like US, Japan is now faced with mass layoffs. Sony, Panasonic Olympus and Renesas electronics are to cut their workforce by half to bring down the losses.

Sony and Panasonic had till March last cut around 10,000 jobs and more jobs are to go especially in the TV manufacturing units which are the loss making ones. Sluggish demand and intense competition from Korean companies have forced the Japanese companies to restructure the operations and prune it to make it come back to its normal.

Amidst this comes the news that Olympus whose camera manufacturing is a loss has decided to sack 7% of the workforce.The company’s diagnostic equipment is a profit-making unit.The company is already reeling under the revelation that it fudged the accounts to the tune of $1.7 billion. The then CEO blew the lid of the scandal.

News reports suggested that Sony and Panasonic had been bidding to get a stake in Olympus. Hearing this, shares of Olympus went up marginally but Sony and Panasonic investors were not happy. Both the companies’ shares fell.

Michael Woodford, former chief executive of Olympus, has according to reports got his claim of unfair dismissal with the Japanese camera firm amicably settled. Woodford was fired last October after he pointed out some payments made by the firm. Initially denying the accusations, Olympus admitted that it had hidden $1.7bn (£1.1bn) of losses over the past 20 years.

Woodford had written six letters to directors of the firm pointing out the business practices because of his concerns over methods at Olympus. He was within two weeks of his appointment sacked by the director board.

The public revealing by Woodford resulted in the directors board resigning and US, UK and Japanese prosecutors are investigating the company and due to this shares crashed. Kyodo news agency reported that Shuichi Takayama, the company’s president since October was responsible for stopping Woodward from revealing the scandal.