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When things go wrong, what is it with Japanese corporate chieftains? Shigehisa Takada, the chairman of Tokyo-based Takata Corp., is facing a spiraling scandal after news that another victim — a pregnant woman in Malaysia — was killed by one his company’s airbags.

The U.S. Senate is holding hearings on the issue this week, and a U.S. grand jury has subpoenaed company officials. And yet Takada remains AWOL, leaving company flacks to assure reporters that he “deeply apologizes” for the five deaths and 139 injuries now attributed to Takata products.

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