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Kawasaki Heavy chief apologizes for internal strife

JIJI

Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. President Shigeru Murayama apologized Wednesday for confusion caused by the recent sudden removals of his predecessor and two other company executives.

“We are very sorry for the fuss,” Murayama told shareholders at the annual shareholders’ meeting in Kobe.

On June 13, the KHI board demoted Satoshi Hasegawa as president and the two other officials for trying to push ahead with a business integration with Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co. despite opposition from many other board members.

Murayama replaced Hasegawa as president that day.

Explaining the reason for the removals, Murayama told the shareholders that the company has terminated the integration talks with Mitsui Engineering.

Investors approved all 10 of the firm’s board nominees.

A record 1,016 shareholders attended this year’s meeting after the kerfuffle attracted keen public interest.

In response to questions from participants about why the integration talks were terminated, Murayama said that “after weighing up possible merits and demerits, we concluded that the integration would not help boost our corporate value.”

He also said Kawasaki Heavy will strive to ensure growth by steadily implementing measures included in its ongoing medium-term business program.

The Japanese shipbuilding industry has been facing a severe business environment amid intensifying competition with Chinese and South Korean rivals.