TOKYO (TR) – Japan Airlines Co. on Friday announced the resignation of renowned entrepreneur William Hiroyuki Saito as executive officer. The announcement came the same day that he admitted that he misrepresented his background.
According to a press release from JAL, Saito resigned from his position as executive officer, general manager of Digital Innovation Promotion Department.
Known as an expert in cybersecurity, Saito founded founded I/O Software in California as a teenager in 1988. He later started the venture capital and technology consultancy InTecur after moving to Japan from the U.S. in 2005. Saito became a special adviser to the Government of Japan regarding cybersecurity in 2013.
As previously reported, Saito last week resigned from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Cabinet Office. METI confirmed on Friday via an email to The Tokyo Reporter that Saito resigned due to “personal reasons.”
The resignations come amid questions first raised on December 9 by writer Ichiro Yamamoto on his blog about whether Saito is an expert in cybersecurity and if he did in fact graduate from the UCLA School of Medicine.
On Friday, Saito issued an apology for “any concern or inconvenience” he may have caused via a tweet that included a link to his blog. The entry indicated that he did not graduate from the UCLA School of Medicine.
In the same entry, Saito also refuted Yamamoto’s doubts regarding his cybersecurity credentials, citing his extended experience internationally and in Japan.