GlobalProxyWatch, the popular newsletter for investors worldwide, reported as follows after the ICGN Conference in Tokyo this last week:
"Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s corporate governance reforms thrust Japan into unfamiliar comply-or-explain mode, officials told the International Corporate Governance Network regional meeting in Tokyo Monday:
Working Group "Finance“ within the DJW (Japanese-German Business Association)
It is my pleasure to invite you and your acquaintances to the next meeting of the Working Group “Finance” within the DJW (Japanese-German Business Association).
The meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 12th 2014, 5:30pm-7pm (JPT) at the Tokyo Stock Exchange building, 2-1 Nihonbashi Kabutocho, 103-8220 Tokyo.
By Tom Redmond, Anna Kitanaka and Takashi Hirokawa Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) -- "Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party is planning a governance code for Japanese companies to boost their competitiveness and enhance investor protection, an official said.
"A survey by the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors, whose members advise boards on the effectiveness of controls to manage risks, found that only 69 per cent said their organisation’s whistleblowing arrangements were effective.More than nine out of 10 had whistleblowing arrangements in place. But in more than half of organisations, people responsible for handling calls from whistleblowers received no training in how to do so. Nearly half of respondents said their organisation provided no feedback or progress updates to whistleblowers."
Kyodo - Feb 21, 2014 WASHINGTON – " A former executive of Japanese auto parts maker Denso Corp. will be jailed in the United States after pleading guilty to obstructing a 2010 investigation of a price-fixing allegation, the U.S. Justice Department said Thursday.
The move was part of the department’s probe of price fixing in the auto parts industry in which it cracked down on 29 people, including the former Denso executive, and 26 companies including Japanese ones.
According to the charges, Bridgestone participated in raising the prices of anti-vibration rubber parts sold to car manufacturers.
”Stewardship is a term that is nowadays part of daily parlance in investment and business circles. Stewardship is recognised as important by governments and regulators. Stewardship is no longer an optional extra and has to be taken seriously.
The major proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis has announced and published its proxy voting guidelines for the Japanese market. On the topic of independent directors, Glass Lewis writes:
「One of the best ways to demonstrate commitment to career growth is by obtaining industry recognized certification. This is true for finance, accounting, insurance, and legal professionals, but is it also applicable to board directors? Certification programs trigger debates among corporate governance experts: some are strongly against it, saying nothing can replace real boardroom experience, while others see it as a valid method for improving the knowledge and skills of directors.