• Kyodo


Yukio Nakazawa, a former vice president of the failed Sogo Co. department store chain, was found hanged Tuesday morning at his home in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, police said.

Police said Nakazawa’s wife found her husband hanging from an electrical wire tied around his neck.

Nakazawa, 74, is one of the former executives targeted in damages suits filed by Sogo. The firm is seeking some 9.4 billion yen in compensation for dubious deals with affiliated companies and an aborted plan to set up an outlet in Turkey.

Nakazawa, a native of Osaka Prefecture, graduated in 1948 from the law faculty of the then Tokyo Imperial University and joined trading house Teijin Ltd. the same year. He became managing director at Sogo in 1997 and was elevated to senior managing director in 1984 and then to vice president in 1989.

In April, Yasuharu Abe, Sogo’s vice president who was desperately attempting to save the financially beleaguered retailer, also committed suicide at his home.

The Sogo group, saddled with 1.87 trillion yen in debts, filed for protection from creditors with the Tokyo District Court in July and has been carrying out restructuring by scaling back its operations in Japan and abroad.

Tobishima suicide

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Kenichi Shimpuku, Tobishima Corp.’s Kyushu branch manager who was to be questioned by prosecutors over a tax evasion case, was found hanged at his home in Fukuoka, police said Tuesday.

Shimpuku, 58, was found dead by his family shortly after 8 a.m. Monday.

He was recently questioned by the Fukuoka Regional Taxation Bureau about the tax evasion case involving Kawamoto Kensetsu, a Fukuoka-based construction company.

The Fukuoka District Public Prosecutor’s Office uncovered the case and was preparing to question Shimpuku.

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