AIJ head apologises for client losses before committee

AIJ name plate
Image caption Mr Asakawa said he would return remaining operating assets to AIJ's investors

The president of AIJ Investment Advisors, Kazuhiko Asakawa, has apologised to Japan's parliamentary committee for investment losses at the centre of a cover-up scandal.

Regulators say the company's losses amounted to 109.2bn yen ($1.32bn; £825m) between 2002 and 2011, which AIJ is accused of trying to hide.

Mr Asakawa said he never meant to lie to clients.

It comes after last year's accounting cover-up at camera-maker Olympus.

On 23 March, regulators searched AIJ's Tokyo headquarters and revoked its registration, effectively stopping it from operating as an asset manager.

AIJ manages group funds for more than 100 companies, including 92 corporate pension funds, according to the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission (SESC).

The SESC said the investment losses were a results of derivatives trading.

It also said that Mr Asakawa and company director Shigeko Takahashi conspired to conceal the losses and fabricated reports.

On Tuesday, Mr Asakawa said he was confident he could make up for the losses, according to the Bloomberg news agency.

He also said he would return remaining assets to clients without giving any further details.

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