THE SUMITOMO CORPORATION is a large Japanese company with interests in a wide range of fields. Like many other Japanese companies, Sumitomo has suffered from the effects of excessive diversification in the post-boom period and has subsequently been afflicted with various non-performing loans. In 2003, Sumitomo Mitsui, Japan's second biggest lender reported a loss of Y465 billion (approximately $3.9 billion) and was forced to seek additional funding. Some of its subsidiaries have been linked with poor environmental practices, for example, with respect to stockpiled pesticides which can pose a threat of toxicity.

However, a more startling revelation of corporate malpractice was revealed in 1996 when Yasuo Hamanaka, a trader at Sumitomo, was revealed to have cost the company some $3 billion through losses in the copper ...

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