Press Conference by ASO Taro, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, and Minister of State for Financial Services
(Friday, May 28, 2021, 11:19 pm to 11:31 pm)
[Questions and answers:]
Regarding corporate disclosure of information related to climate change, the Japanese government is planning to amend the Corporate Governance Code, and the number of companies in Japan that support the TCFD is the largest in the world. In what manner do you want to introduce these initiatives of Japan to the whole world? Some countries are seeking to oblige companies to make disclosure. What do you think of such moves?
You all know about the circumstances in Japan, and the government of Japan is committed to taking actions, including the amendment of the Corporate Governance Code, with the awareness that the time will surely come when corporate value will be evaluated based on such aspects. It is often said that the percentages of female employees or employees with disabilities have become factors to be taken into account when evaluating corporate value. Contribution to climate-change actions or efforts in this field are also coming to be recognized as important elements when determining corporate value, I think. Related efforts have just been commenced and no fixed terms have been determined with greening or other terms being used at present. Climate-change actions will be taken in earnest from now on and they will become significant factors and exert influence in various forms, such as boosting share prices or leading to advantageous interest rates when borrowing money. Although specific influences or effects are uncertain at this point in time, these factors are likely to be evaluated more in the future. Such tendency is especially strong in Europe, but it may not be so easy for other countries. It would hardly be possible to provide finance to countries that cannot take climate-change actions unless they have cheap energy. I think that this is not so easy. It is often the case that a discrepancy exists between reality and principles. Poor countries are larger in number than rich countries, in reality.
In relation to this question, the United Kingdom and some other countries are seeking to oblige companies to make disclosure, and this issue has been deliberated so far. At today's G7 meeting, were there any requests from member countries seeking corporate disclosure or disclosure based on the TCFD recommendations, or was any agreement reached to seek such obligation?
Talking about an agreement at this stage, it is true that some European countries insist to make an agreement, but even if an agreement were reached, it would be meaningless if it were only an agreement among a small number of countries. Therefore, all parties need to discuss more, I think. I cannot make comments on the details of individual parties' opinions, but discussions have yet to reach such a stage as introducing an obligation regarding corporate disclosure.
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