Fujitsu Ltd. offered former President Kuniaki Nozoe around ¥270 million over a decade to serve as an adviser, his lawyers said Thursday, claiming the money was to keep him from talking about his abrupt resignation in September.
In an open letter addressed to Fujitsu, Nozoe’s lawyers questioned why the “exorbitant compensation” was promised, adding the long-term contract barred him from speaking to the media or contesting claims made by the company about the reasons for his departure.
The letter disputes the explanation provided by the computer services firm in a news conference last week and demands that the company respond by May 6 to seven questions posed by the lawyers.
Fujitsu initially attributed Nozoe’s resignation to illness but later claimed he was sacked after ignoring the company’s warning to sever his ties with an investment fund suspected of links with “antisocial forces,” a phrase often used to describe organized crime groups.
Nozoe denies receiving the warning and has called for an outside committee to examine the resignation process, a demand that Fujitsu said it will not meet.
Nozoe said he signed the contract that ensured he would get the adviser’s position, massive compensation and an expense account after being pressured to resign in “a windowless room” on Sept. 25, a claim Fujitsu denies.
“I signed on the premise that I would be able to continue my job, even in a different position as an adviser, for the company’s development and growth,” Nozoe said at a news conference Thursday.
“Since the content (of the contract) is highly restrictive and harsh, I do feel now that it was meant to keep me silent,” he said, adding there was a major gap in understanding on when he would be able to return to work.
During the news conference, a recording of the Sept. 25 meeting between Fujitsu officials, including Senior Executive Adviser Naoyuki Akikusa, and Nozoe was played in front of the media for the first time.
In the taped conversations, Megumi Yamamuro, Fujitsu’s auditor, is heard interrogating Nozoe about ties with a fund rumored to be linked with an organized crime group, noting the danger of the company being delisted if such ties were confirmed.
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