Hisashi Shinto, 92, the first president of Japanese telecommunications giant Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp., who was forced to resign over a bribery scandal in the late 1980s, died Sunday in Tokyo of pneumonia.
Shinto studied shipbuilding at Kyushu Imperial University, and in 1972 became president of Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co. He left in 1981 to head the government-run telephone utility NTT Public Corp. As president, he supervised its privatization. He was appointed chairman in June 1988.
But six months later, Shinto resigned amid a bribery scandal tied to the information-media enterprise Recruit Co. The scandal, which exposed deep-seated corruption among business and government leaders, changed the political climate in Japan and left many voters disenchanted about politicians.
Two prime ministers and more than a dozen other senior politicians, government officials and corporate executives implicated in the scandal quit their posts.