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The Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants urged its members Thursday to refrain from snatching clients or staff from auditing firm ChuoAoyama PricewaterhouseCoopers, which has been sanctioned by the government.

Anyone who unfairly takes customers or CPAs away from ChuoAoyama should be punished in accordance with JICPA rules, Chairman Tsuguoki Fujinuma said at a news conference.

The Financial Services Agency on Wednesday reprimanded ChuoAoyama for certifying false financial statements issued by Kanebo Ltd. and ordered it to partially suspend its auditing operations for two months starting July 1.

JICPA is worried that moves by ChuoAoyama’s competitors to take advantage of the reprimand by grabbing customers or staff from ChuoAoyama will disrupt auditing operations and the capital market, association officials said.

Fujinuma called the practices at ChuoAoyama deplorable and vowed efforts to prevent trouble at the 2,300 companies that could be affected by the firm’s suspension.