EquitiesFirst has joined forces with Nasdaq Governance Solutions to publish a series of research reports on corporate governance for selected markets in APAC. We have assembled a team of experts on corporate governance in each of the subject markets to provide background and key insights on the space. These reports are for both investors in and management of listed companies focused on creating long-term value in their enterprises.

The topic areas will range from governance best practices, technological shifts, regulatory trends, communication, investor expectations and other topics tailored specifically to each of the regions.

Background

Readers of this whitepaper will gain a clear understanding of the breadth of the past decade of transformative reforms in Japanese corporate governance, and the reasons why there is still much untapped value that can be realized in the Japanese market.


Executive Summary

Over the past six years Japan has put in place a long list of corporate governance reforms. However, as Japan is still only halfway through the “tunnel” of reform, much of the resulting value creation for investors and other stakeholders is yet to come. This whitepaper’s data-driven review of Japan’s governance “revolution” includes:

  • Tangible corporate governance reform has come to Japan. In tandem with government policy, advocacy by investor groups and pro-governance corporate leaders will continue these positive reforms in the years to come.
  • Japanese firms have “got the message” that a sea change has occurred
  • Japanese boards are starting to embrace global trends.
  • Mergers, acquisitions and activism are on the rise, improving capital efficiency or managerial awareness of the need for it.
  • As a result of many of the above changes, Return on Assets (ROA) values in Japan are trending higher across the board.

While progress has been significant, it is up to shareholders to work closely with management teams and boards to keep up with ever-increasing global standards of good governance and value enhancement. As this constructive engagement and activism continues, there will be many attractive opportunities for investment and growth at firms that acclimate to new expectations.

While progress has been significant, it is up to shareholders to work closely with management teams and boards to keep up with ever-increasing global standards of good governance and value enhancement. As this constructive engagement and activism continues, there will be many attractive opportunities for investment and growth at firms that acclimate to new expectations.


About the Author

“Japan’s Corporate Governance Revolution: Halfway Through the Tunnel“ was written by Nicholas Benes and co-published by Nasdaq and EquitiesFirst. It is the first in the series Corporate Governance: Driving Value Creation in Asia Pacific.

Nicholas is the director and co-founder of The Board Director Training Institute of Japan (BDTI). Nicholas is trained in both law and business (JD-MBA), is bilingual in Japanese and English, and has served on a number of corporate boards in Japan. He gained experience in investment banking over 11 years at JP Morgan, in New York, London and Tokyo, after which he founded a boutique M&A advisory firm in Japan.

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