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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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Japan's Conversion to Investor Capitalism *

Japan's Conversion to Investor Capitalism *

(p.134) 5 Japan's Conversion to Investor Capitalism*
Corporate Governance and Managerial Reform in Japan

Ronald Dore

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, Ronald Dore contrasts the rhetoric about the Japanese corporation's duties to multiple stakeholders, and the absence of proposals to modify the extent to which the law makes shareholders the sole sovereign controller of the fate of companies. Under the “new orthodoxy” it has become difficult to publicly defend practices such as reciprocal shareholding, which shielded companies from hostile takeovers in the past, and strong constraints are applied to the use of new defensive measures. He cites the evolution of the Corporate Value Study Group, and its position on the primacy of shareholder interests, and argues that a strong lever for change has been wish to avoid charges of being heisateki (clannishly exclusive) from the foreign investment community and its Japanese allies. He concludes that, despite some management mutterings, Japan's conversion to shareholder capitalism may be unstoppable.

Keywords:   Japan, corporate governance, investor capitalism, shareholder sovereignty, takeovers, corporate value

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