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' Resolution".
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 scheme.
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, 135-0063 JAPAN TEL: +81-3-5530-3055 (switchboard)Source:Universal Entertainment Corporation