Japan: One Step Forward on Corporate Governance But More Steps Ahead

The introduction of both a Stewardship Code in 2014 and a Corporate Governance Code a year later in Japan has pushed investors to focus more on the governance standards of the companies they’re invested in and forced companies to make changes – particularly when it comes to appointing independent directors to the board.

But accusations of box-ticking remain and Shigeo Imakiire, president of Investor Communications Japan, a joint venture of Broadridge and Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE), says that while progress has been made, there’s more that Japanese companies could be doing.

He noted the alignment of strategic plans with sustainable development goals and more transparency and engagement with shareholders and an increase in support for shareholder initiatives. But overseas investors want better disclosure in English and a better pay-performance link.

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