Livedoor prexy advisor commits suicide

Hideaki Noguchi, one of the closes aides of maverick Japanese businessman Takafumi Horie, was found dead on Thursday morning, Japanese time.

In what appears to be a suicide, Noguchi was found in a hotel in Okinawa with his wrists slashed. According to press reports, he was alive when discovered, but later confirmed dead.

Horie, who heads the Livedoor internet group, this week saw his home and offices raided as Tokyo stock market authorities investigated the company over accusations of misleading investors to hide losses. News of the probe triggered a massive sell-off on the Tokyo stock market Tuesday and Wednesday.

Noguchi, the vice president of H.S. Securities Co, was a close confidant to Horie until he left Livedoor recently. He joined On the Edge, formerly a part of Livedoor, in 2000 and worked on the company’s initial public offering on the Mothers market, the exchange operated by the Tokyo Stock Exchange for emerging companies.

Horie, 33, contacted by Nippon Television about the apparent suicide, was momentarily speechless. Asked whether Noguchi was linked to the Livedoor scandal, Horie said: “I don’t really know.”

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