Japanese firm `not racist'

A manager at a City subsidiary of a Japanese company yesterday denied it had been racist in failing to promote British workers. Noriaki Nakajima, deputy manager of the British arm of Quick Corporation, a financial information company, told an industrial tribunal in Stratford, east London, that the British staff lacked the "ability and character" to be managers.

Cliff Wakeman, 42, of Whitstable, Kent, Ashok Solanki, 44, from Edgware, north London, and Stewart Mitchell, 45, from Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, claim racial discrimination and unfair dismissal. The hearing continues today.

Mr Nakajima admitted that internal reports had described Mr Wakeman as "outstanding". But he insisted Mr Wakeman had not been passed over because he was not Japanese, adding: "We don't have any such racial discrimination policy." The hearing continues today.