• Kyodo News

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Shareholders of Fujitsu Ltd. approved Monday the company’s proposal to appoint 10 people to the board of directors, including those involved in the controversial departure of Kuniaki Nozoe as company president.

The decision comes as Fujitsu is waging a tug of war with its former president regarding the company’s poor handling of Nozoe’s exit, which triggered a legal dispute and a rare public display of internal strife that has drawn attention from the media and investors.

The computer services firm proposed 10 board candidates, including Chairman Michiyoshi Mazuka and Director Hiroshi Oura, saying they are vital to the firm’s goal to be more profitable this business year.

Nozoe was not present at the shareholders’ meeting, which took place in Yokohama and was televised live via satellite to the media in Tokyo.

Fujitsu officials explained in length about the problem of Nozoe’s departure, and questions and opinions posed by shareholders focused mainly on that issue, taking up most of the three-hour meeting.

Mazuka reiterated Fujitsu’s rejection of Nozoe’s claims, including his argument that he was forced to quit, and said Nozoe has made “the problem bigger” by talking to the press and bringing the case to court. Mazuka vowed to separate this issue from the company’s business performance.

Fujitsu also said it has no plans to heed Nozoe’s request to set up an impartial committee to examine developments that led to his exit.

Glass, Lewis & Co., a major U.S. shareholder advocacy company, had opposed the reappointment of Mazuka and Oura due to their involvement with the Nozoe problem.

Fujitsu initially attributed Nozoe’s abrupt departure last September to illness but later claimed the former president had ties with an investment fund suspected of links with “antisocial forces,” a euphemism often used to describe organized crime.

Nozoe has been appealing for reinstatement to the company’s board of directors, and both the district and high courts have rejected his claim.

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