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Interview

Toshiba board nominees risk criticism for activist tilt: director

Mariko Watahiki points to lack of balance among competing interests in rare public objection

Mariko Watahiki said she wanted shareholders to know why she opposed the board nominees from Farallon Capital Management and Elliott Management. (Nikkei montage: Photos by Reuters, Manami Yamada)

TOKYO -- An outside director at troubled Japanese industrial group Toshiba said she opposed board nominees representing activist hedge funds because she feared that the body would be seen as biased in favor of a few big shareholders.

"I had to conclude that the board's makeup lacked balance in terms of diversity and fairness," Mariko Watahiki, a lawyer and former Japanese judge, told Nikkei of her objections, which had prompted an unusual footnote in management's proposed slate of directors.

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