Hidden Japan

For months, Japan's top financial reporters had been nosing around giant Nomura Securities Co., hoping to follow a money trail they suspected might lead to the country's power brokers. But only when disgruntled middle-level bureaucrats at the National Tax Agency began to talk did the scandal break wide open. Soon, newspaper headlines were screaming that Nomura and its three big competitors were making paybacks to clients and funneling millions of dollars to one of Japan's most notorious gangsters.

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