A Puzzling Toll at the Top

What is killing off so many of Japan's corporate chiefs?

Running a large corporation in the hard-driving Japanese economy has always been a tough job, but these days it may be a fatal one as well. The chief executives of at least twelve major companies, including Seiko Epson, Kawasaki Steel and All Nippon Airways, have all died suddenly this year. The unusually high toll in executive suites -- there were only a third as many comparable deaths in all of 1986 -- is as mysterious as it is macabre. Most victims have been in their 50s and 60s, too young to die in a country where the average male life expectancy...

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