Japan needs corporate governance reform

by Sox First, January 7, 2010.

Japan’s boardrooms need to be overhauled says the Asian Corporate Governance Association (ACGA).

In a paper, commentators recommend bringing in more independent directors and fixing up the rules for what defines an outside director. According to the ACGA, the definition of an outside director in Japan’s Companies Act it is “weak and often confusing to foreign investors and others”. It also says Japanese companies should start publishing proxy results and that institutional investors should be required to publish their voting guidelines and how they voted. Cross shareholdings need to be disclosed to eliminate conflicts of interest, laws brought in requiring companies to seek shareholder approval for private placements and more disclosure of cross shareholdings…(continue reading)

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