• Kyodo News

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Shareholders lashed out Monday at executives of struggling companies such as NEC Corp. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. over their dismal financial performance as they sought explanations for what they say are poorly handled responses to the global economic downturn.

Dozens of major companies are holding their annual shareholders’ meetings this week at a time when more individual stockholders are seeking a bigger say in the management of company operations.

Sinking into the red for the business year that ended in March, both NEC and Mitsubishi Motors were unable to pay annual dividends, their sales eroded by the global recession and stronger yen.

Mitsubishi Motors, which has not paid an annual dividend for about a decade, saw a record-high attendance of 1,966 shareholders at its two-hour meeting in Tokyo, where participants voiced complaints over the uncertain outlook for its business.

Toyota Motor Corp, Honda Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co., Hitachi Ltd. and Sharp Corp. will hold their shareholders’ meetings Tuesday.

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