Hiroo Mizushima, the longtime chairman of failed department store chain Sogo Co., on Thursday flatly denied that he sloppily managed the firm, although he said he is deeply aware of his responsibility as chief executive.

Mizushima was appearing before the Tokyo District Court for the first time to defend himself in an 11.2 billion yen damages suit filed against him and 18 other former Sogo executives by the company’s new management.

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