Defunct Yamaichi Securities officially closes down

TOKYO (AP) — Snapping souvenir photos, employees watched Tuesday as Yamaichi Securities Co. — the largest Japanese business ever to fail — closed its doors for the last time, ending 101 years of operation.
Smiling female office workers in their company uniforms and their male counterparts, ties fluttering in a light breeze, posed for snapshots outside Yamaichi’s headquarters in central Tokyo.
Elsewhere, others gathered to listen to final speeches from managers at the company’s last 40 branches in Japan before walking away for the last time.
The official closure, which came on the last day of the fiscal year, left some 3,000 remaining employees out of work.
“Many employees have still not found new jobs, and it is our heartfelt hope they will be hired soon,” Yamaichi President Shohei Nozawa said in a statement.
For many in Japan, the image of a tearful Nozawa — bowing and assuming blame at a news conference when the company collapsed in November — will remain the symbol of the debacle.
Yamaichi announced Monday that 70 percent of its 9,273 current and former employees have been hired by other companies or received job offers.
But while many Yamaichi workers have found jobs with healthier Japanese and U.S. financial companies, older employees have been struggling to find work as Japan’s economic slump deepens.
Earlier this month, authorities arrested three former Yamaichi officials on suspicion of covering up some $2.1 billion in losses by transferring them from client to client to prevent them from showing up on financial statements.