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Ex-president of Japan’s Olympus pleads guilty

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TOKYO — Olympus Corp.'s former president Tsuyoshi Kikukawa admitted guilt Tuesday in a cover-up of massive investment losses at the Japanese camera and medical equipment maker.

The scandal emerged last year when Michael Woodford, the British chief executive who turned whistleblower, raised questions about payments for financial advice and dubious acquisitions. Woodford was later fired.

"There is no mistake. The entire responsibility lies with me," Kikukawa told the court.

Tokyo prosecutors have charged the company, Kikukawa and other officials, arrested February, with violating laws regulating securities exchanges by falsifying company financial statements.

Three other Olympus executives also pled guilty Tuesday. The company also entered a guilty plea.

If found guilty, individuals face up to 10 years in prison, a 10 million yen ($128,000) fine, or both. The company can be penalized with a fine of up to 700 million yen ($9 million).

Olympus has said it hid 117.7 billion yen ($1.5 billion) in investment losses dating to the 1990s.