How a Singapore-based investor forced Japan's Toshiba to face up to corporate governance shortcomings

Toshiba is seen as key to Japanese national security because of its nuclear power business and defence industry links.
Toshiba is seen as key to Japanese national security because of its nuclear power business and defence industry links.PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (NYT) - Last year, when a little-known investment firm called for some new blood on the board of the faded Japanese industrial giant Toshiba, the company's leadership was less than receptive.

But rather than taking its case to its shareholders, Toshiba tried to foil the problem investors by making a secret request to Japan's powerful trade ministry: "Beat them up." The plot backfired and Toshiba itself has taken the beating.

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