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Toshiba Corp. sought government help in an attempt to influence a key vote that installed its slate of directors at last year’s general shareholders meeting, an independent probe has found, in a vindication for investor activism in Japan.

The voting, which went against nominees put up by Singapore-based Effissimo Capital Management, wasn’t fairly managed, according to the results of an investigation by several law firms that Toshiba shared. The Japanese electronics-to-energy conglomerate "devised a plan to effectively prevent shareholders” from exercising their rights, working with the trade ministry to counter activist investors.

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