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Corporate Governance and Managerial Reform in Japan$
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D. Hugh Whittaker and Simon Deakin

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199563630

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199563630.001.0001

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In the Shadow of Corporate Governance Reform: Change and Continuity in Managerial Practice at Listed Companies in Japan *

In the Shadow of Corporate Governance Reform: Change and Continuity in Managerial Practice at Listed Companies in Japan *

Chapter:
(p.28) 2 In the Shadow of Corporate Governance Reform: Change and Continuity in Managerial Practice at Listed Companies in Japan*
Source:
Corporate Governance and Managerial Reform in Japan
Author(s):

John Buchanan

Simon Deakin (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199563630.003.0002

This chapter presents an empirical analysis of the implementation of the “company with committees law” of 2002 that was aimed at expanding the role of independent directors. Most boards continue to have a significant executive presence and external directors are treated as advisers and associates rather than as monitors of management or as agents of the shareholders. However, there has been an increase in external directors across all companies (not just those opting into the new law), and a clearer separation between monitoring and execution. Because the core of the “community firm” appears to remain intact, the chapter interprets these developments as a renewal of the postwar model, stressing elements of continuity along with the adaptability of the Japanese corporation in the face of external pressures. A similar conclusion is reached concerning the limited impact on managerial practice of growing shareholder engagement, including recent instances of hedge fund activism.

Keywords:   Japan, corporate governance, independent directors, company with committees law, community firm, hedge fund activism

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