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Bridgestone comments on investigation into its marine hose business

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As part of its financial results for fiscal 2007, Bridgestone Corp. addressed the investigation of its marine hose business by the United States Department of Justice, the European Commission and the Fair Trade Commission of Japan.

Word for word, here is what Bridgestone (which refers to itself as the Company") revealed about the matter, and how it affects the results.

"In May 2007, the U.S. Department of Justice, the European Commission, the Fair Trade Commission of Japan and other authorities have been investigating the Company due to suspicions of the company being involved in international cartel activities regarding the sales of marine hoses.

"During the internal inquiry into facts related to an international cartel, it has uncovered the fact that there have been incidents of improper monetary payments to foreign agents, all or a part of which may have been provided to foreign governmental officers, and other possible forms of improper payments. Further, if the foreign agents made payments to foreign governmental officers, there is a possibility that such acts constitute breaches of Unfair Competition Prevention Law of Japan (law prohibiting the bribery of foreign officials). Improper payments may also violate laws in other jurisdictions.

"We take these facts seriously and have reported the result of our investigation conducted so far to the public prosecutors' office of Japan and the U.S. Department of Justice. We have been able to confirm that inappropriate payments have been identified in relation to the sales of marine hose. However, as our investigation proceeds, we are also finding similar instances in relation to our other industrial products sold by the Company. The investigation is continuing and could expand. The Company will withdraw from the marine hose business.

"The Company has not established a reserve allowance in connection with investigation regarding the matter."

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