Former Nomura Securities Co. president Hideo Sakamaki confessed to authorizing subordinates to make $328,000 in illegal payoffs to a racketeer, according to Japanese media, which cited prosecutors.

Mr. Sakamaki made the confession during questioning with prosecutors, who arrested him Friday on suspicion of authorizing lower-ranking employees to pay hush money to Ryuichi Koike, a reputed "sokaiya," or corporate blackmailer, the reports said.

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