Our Position Regarding Asahi Shimbun's Response
TOKYO, Feb. 18, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In our "Request to Asahi Shimbun
Reporter" of February 13, 2013, we requested the involved reporter to show us
provenance and authenticity of the "Board of Directors Resolution" no later
than February 15, 2013.
In the February 8th morning edition of the Asahi Shimbun, a report appeared on
the first and the third pages regarding the transfer of US$40 million in
connection with our Company's Philippine business. It was reported that a
Board of Directors' resolution states that "resolve to agree and approve the
payment of this expense" and is signed by Kazuo Okada, Chairman of the Board
of Universal Entertainment Corporation, who also serves as Director of Aruze
USA, and by Tomohiro Okada, Director of Universal Entertainment Corporation.
However, no such document titled "Board of Directors' Resolution," the ground
of such allegations, and which would not be used by companies in general,
exists as an official document in our corporate group. We filed the above
request in view of the need to immediately verify the facts.
In the first place, this verification was made doubly necessary because of the
surfacing of evidence showing mysterious e-mail communication with a member of
our administration staff through which our employee Mr. N had directed the
preparation of a document contrary to the facts.
In response to our Company's request for submission of these internal
documents, Asahi Shimbun on February 15 rejected our request citing its
responsibility as a news organization to protect information sources. In
addition, Asahi Shimbun not only declined to identify the source of
information but also failed to provide a copy of the "Board of Directors'
We are fully aware of a news organization's responsibility to protect
information sources and are not in any way asking it to abandon such an
important responsibility. According to Asahi Shimbun, since the document in
question is our classified material, it is unlikely that someone's secret or
privacy will be violated even if the document is disclosed to us and that
there are no reasons to prevent the concerned "Board of Directors' Resolution"
being disclosed to our Company.
Therefore, whether or not the source is disclosed, we were expecting the
aforementioned "Board of Directors' Resolution" to be disclosed. Note that our
Company had requested only the provision of that document, which the involved
Asahi Shimbun reporter already possessed, so the request involved no
particular undue burden. Therefore, since the document has not been presented
by the deadline, as well as Asahi Shimbun has declined to produce the
concerned document without justifiable cause and is not disclosing its source,
the content of the aforementioned news report must be considered to be false
or mendacious. At the same time, we must conclude that Asahi Shimbun could not
disclose the source because it is not reliable.
The letter of February 15, 2013 received from Asahi Shimbun in response to our
request included a comment claiming that, although not reported in the news
article, Asahi Shimbun has in its possession a copy of a document titled
"Proposal on countermeasures on accounting issues concerning the Manila Bay
Resort Project" (dated April 11, 2010) prepared by Mr. Norihisa Kiriu, an
employee of our Company in the Finance and Accounting Division. Based on this
document, Asahi Shimbun in the above letter claimed that our Company's
management was aware of this scheme, thus suggesting the possession of
evidence other than the documentary evidence we had requested.
Asahi Shimbun now indicates it has new evidence, which does not support this
particular allegation in sustainability at all, while flatly rejecting with no
reason to present the document we requested. It is difficult to know what
Asahi Shimbun means by making such attitude in response to our request. In
addition, to make the matter clear, the new document titled "Accounting
Treatment of and Solution for Manila Bay Resort Project" (hereinafter referred
to as "Accounting Manager's Manipulation Memorandum") has no credibility.
According to the internal investigation by our Company, it has turned out that
the said Accounting Manager's Manipulation Memorandum was prepared by only the
major persons involved in the scheme of US$10 million fund circulation on
which the Third-party Committee raised a question.
Asahi Shimbun claims that the top management of our Company is aware of this
scheme based on the following two points:(1) The said Accounting Manager's
Manipulation Memorandum was prepared at our Company's terminal and that (2) it
was put on agenda at the Strategy Committee held on April 5, 2010
However, there is no connection between the fact referred to in (1) and
awareness of the top management. At the Strategy Committee referred to in (2),
there exists no fact that a decision was made regarding the fund circulation
at that particular time. (The Strategy Committee is, in short, an organ to
discuss or report a project but not to make a decision. The matter discussed
or reported should be forwarded to a decision-making organ such as Board of
Directors.) The said accounting manager was not a member of the Strategy
Committee and neither in a position of learning the discussion there.
Therefore, "the aforementioned, manager of the Finance and Accounting
Division knew the deliberation of the Strategy Committee in details that he
did not attend, suggested he did it based on our Company's intent and prepared
a concrete scheme chart. However, for some reason, he did not submit it to the
top management, but handled it by e-mails among those involved on whom the
Third-party Committee raised a question (including the said Manager of the
Finance and Accounting Division who signed on the document as issuer.)
Following this unusual course of development as a fact, it is apparently
difficult to judge that the top management of our Company is aware of the said
A material on which this particular allegation by Asahi Shimbun is based has
not been presented to us (we simply requested to present the confidential
materials which Asahi Shimbun claims one of ours, and there seems to be no
reason for Asahi Shimbun to keep it confidential.) Therefore, we are unable to
validate the said material. However, the alleged background against which the
material was prepared is unusual, and also there can exist no such document in
the administration of our Company. Although Asahi Shimbun indicates new
evidence, instead of presenting the said material, which has no probative
value at all. After all, we have to come to a conclusion that the
aforementioned news report must be considered to be false or mendacious, and
now it is clear, in our opinion, that it lacks "accuracy and fairness" as
stipulated by the Japan Newspaper Publishers and Editors Association. That's
the reason we would hereby make this matter public.
We therefore request Asahi Shimbun to admit this particular allegation was
incorrect and to express apologies. In the event that the request is not
accepted, our Company has to file a litigation or take any other measures to
restore itself from the damage it incurred.
CONTACT: MEDIA CONTACTS:
Universal Entertainment Corporation (JASDAQ Code: 6425)
Contact: PR&IR OFFICE Nobuyuki Horiuchi, Assistant General Manager
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ariake Frontier Bldg, A, 3-7-26 Ariake, koto-ku, Tokyo,
TEL: +81-3-5530-3055 (switchboard)
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.