Rumors from Japan: Olympus linked to organized crime syndicates

ヤクザ = Yakuza

NYTimes got their hands on an internal memo from the current ongoing Olympus investigation in Japan and it seems that the initial accusations of organized crime involvement may be more than just a rumor. Currently there are $4.9 billion that are not accounted for and there is a suspicion that portion of those funds went to organized crime group a.k.a. the Yakuza:

"The memo says investigators believe that over half of that amount has been channeled to organized crime syndicates, including the country’s largest, the Yamaguchi Gumi. The memo does not make clear whether Olympus knew about those links. But if confirmed by investigators, an association with organized crime could prompt a delisting of Olympus shares from the Tokyo Stock Exchange, under the exchange’s rules."

Imagine what $4.9 billion could have done for Olympus if they were invested in R&D and marketing - this is from today's AP interview with the former CEO MIichael Woodford:

"However, he expressed frustration that Olympus did not have more resources to invest in a market that is becoming ever more competitive, and now pitching up against the likes of camera giant Nikon in the CSC arena."

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  • like they had choices. all world corrupted, all money go through organized crime channels.

  • Mark

    Geez! Buying an Oly camera puts money into the pockets of organized crime. It keeps getting worse and worse.

  • na

    everything is linked to yakuza in japan, that’s how Japan work

    • EXACTLY!! I would have been more surprised if there was no link at all to the Yakuza.


    I don’t know the fact.

    But the timing of this rumor is too much rightr to control the sensitive Oly’s stock price.

    I doubt this rumor might comes from economic Yakuza?

    • Dummy00001

      This is not a rumor anymore – since it comes from a copy of official report.

      This was rumor back in August – when some Japanese journalists have spotted patterns in Olympus behavior, characteristic to companies taken over by Yakuza.

      • RAVEN

        Please check the stock chart of Oly.

        I have no stock of Oly.
        But,I have been watching price movement everyday ,since Mr.Woodford had been removed.
        And some info came into the open at exquisite timing.
        Today is same.

      • “The memo says investigators believe that over half of that amount has been channeled to organized crime syndicates, including the country’s largest, the Yamaguchi Gumi.”

        “believe” is not a fact in my opinion

        • Dummy00001

          “believe over half” – the verb “believe” relates to the amount, not to the fact.

  • Pete Peterson

    … and in China, it’s the Triads. What else is news?

  • CRB

    Human being is a failure as a race…good people lack strenght to lead and fight to have a better world…

  • chris

    somebody needs to make a movie about this ^^

  • This may help explain some of the inexplicable decisions Oly has made over the years. You can’t serve yourself AND the mob at the same time.

  • That slurping sound is Olympus’ stock circling the drain.

  • The real question now is who winds up with their camera business.

  • I knew Olympus was dodgy from day 1… well day 1 since they got in to FourThirds. All that misleading of buyers in to thinking that they’re actually benefiting from the smaller sensor can only come from a heartless company.

    • Dummy00001

      Not funny.

  • EnPassant

    Olympus has never been a reliable company. They had the great OM-system. But as their first AF-try failed they just let the whole system slowly die for the rest of the film-era just to make a comeback 20 years later with Four thirds. Now since they came out with the innovative Micro 4/3 the original 4/3 is almost dead except for a few enthusiasts still using it. Compare that to Nikon who’s first SLR-lenses (except for the invasive ones) can still be used on their latest DSLR D5100.

    • You can use OM lenses on FT and mFT. On mFT you can use a whole lot more, second only to the Sony E mount (Nex).

      The only problem is the lack of FF. But that applies to Pentax as well and applied to Sony too, until relatively recently.

      • Victor Hassleblood

        … and it applied to Nikon or Leica’s Ms as well, until relatively recently.

  • Mark

    Shameful. At what point does buying an Oly product constitute condoning their crimes? Until they fire the ENTIRE board, and the ENTIRE top layer of management, they should be boycotted.

  • peter

    who cares. I dont own any Olympus gear. I would never consider buying one of their products. they can go under for all I care.

    • Zaph

      Simply put, that’s because you are a prick. 35,000 people work for Olympus.

      • peter

        Zaph (douche) larger companies go under every week for mismanagement. Olympus goes under for basically embezzling money and funding organized crime. Olympus disappear for all I care.

        The rich get richer. We are 99%.

        • Zaph

          The 99% care about the 35,000 people who’s jobs are threatened. You are not part of the 99%.

          • Webelieve

            Zaph is a douche. Lol.

  • Bravin Neff

    What a shame. They make such good products, and pratically own the dictation/voice recorder field, which are best in class.

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