Press Conference by Taro Aso, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, and Minister of State for Financial Services


(Friday, March 27, 2015, 8:21 am to 8:34 am)

[Questions and answers]


I have a question about corporate governance. This is because you have personal experience of being president of a company, and your answers often reflect that. Today is the peak for shareholders’ meetings of companies that close their books in December. At one of them, Otsuka Kagu, two current directors each submitted proposed resolutions concerning management policy, and engaged in a proxy fight to obtain the proxies of shareholders. Because the fight was between a father and daughter, it attracted a lot of interest, including from us in the media. There are a lot of family-run companies in Japan, and for us outsiders it is difficult to determine whether this is really a corporate governance issue or whether it includes a battle over wealth. Minister, please tell me your opinions on corporate governance at family-run companies that you have observed.


Generally, I have nothing to say about individual cases, but I think that improving corporate governance is extremely important. It is therefore important to enhance management transparency, and in that sense, I think that management has to give proper explanations to shareholders and others. At the moment, I don’t know what the share percentages are, or how things are being done, but this episode has dragged shareholders into something they probably care little about. If it results in reduced dividends or reduced sales, it could harm shareholders, so I think it needs to be handled carefully and properly.

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