• Kyodo

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Livedoor Co. founder Takafumi Horie, who is now standing trial for alleged securities law violations, has said he was arrested due to the “jealous elite of old Japan” and criticized the establishment, the Financial Times reported Friday.

Horie, who has pleaded not guilty of charges that include market manipulation and accounting fraud, also said in what the British paper claims his first interview with the foreign media that Japan was perhaps the “most communist society in the world,” it said.

The ex-president of the Internet and financial services group told the FT that powerful bureaucrats and media figures had created the “mood of resentment” that led to his arrest in January.

Horie, 34, expanded Livedoor through repeated mergers and acquisitions. He tried — and failed — last year to buy Nippon Broadcasting System Inc., the radio broadcaster then holding the biggest stake in Fuji Television Network Inc., one of Japan’s largest TV broadcasters.

The paper said Horie vowed to continue his battle against the country’s “entrenched power base.”

Horie also said Japan was a victim of the classic trap that all communist nations eventually fall into because it had allowed a superpowerful bureaucracy to control everything, while believing that the “stupid rank and file should roll their sleeves up and sweat.”

“I wanted to change Japan, but I didn’t want to go to prison for it,” he said.

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