Nosedive For A Net Highflier

Hikari's credibility crisis has investors and partners running

Japanese entrepreneur Yasumitsu Shigeta was soaring. In February the market capitalization of his Hikari Tsushin Inc., a blazing-hot mobile-phone retailer and Internet investment firm, hit $72 billion, up nearly fivefold in six months. The upstart had become Japan's eighth-most-valuable company, right up there with Toyota Motor Corp. and Sony Corp. Shigeta, 35, was lauded as the kind of business leader Japan needs to build its new economy.

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