For Japan Inc, discretion is the better part of activist valor

By Tomo Uetake

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Change will come, in about 2 or 3 generations!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I think that should be, “Discretion is better than being caught.”

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Most of the time an activist is a representative of a group of slobbering ghouls gnashing their teeth at the chance to "make a difference".

Word Count -- Activist: 14 Appearances / Activism: 4

Definitions of "Activist": 0

Only an activist editor would let that one slide.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Interesting read. I kind of witnessed this when translating a company's AGM documents. The original draft included a shareholder proposal for replacing the leadership (the stated rationale for the proposal included a slamming indictment of the management's incompetence).

While I was midway through translating it, the client suddenly sent a new version of the draft with the shareholder proposal removed. The contents of the shareholder proposal had been integrated into the company's own proposal for director appointments, and the rationale became something generic like "to ensure effective oversight and execution of duties, blah blah blah".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Talk but are things really happening ???.Pls look at the Nissan case, nothing is happening. Surely, no foreign investors will invest in Japan any more. Nissan example of how Japanese firms treat foreigners operators & share holders is really a shame. All countries have their important documents bilingual, only japan have all their important documents & laws in Japanese. Even operations systems are in Japanese. Going international ???.only in their talks & their minds. Not real at all. Japanese firms will do anything or say anything to get profits. Not buying here. Better invest in 3rd world countries. At least , these countries have everything written in English 6 in their hearts and mind going international.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Activists' purpose is profitting themselves by intimidating corporations. They invest and after making money they go. Having said that, it has a good aspect too. Japanese corporations have long ignored shareholders but in recent time they are rewarding more to them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There are pluses & minuses...…….sounds like modern nemawashi to me!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

NOTHING changes in Japan. It's smoke and mirrors.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Interesting that they’d have this just as the G20 are meeting. Hide anything embarrassing behind the big news. The timing can’t be a coincidence. The G20 will grab all the headlines while Ghosn, Saikawa and less than perfect corporate Japan are lost in the back pages. The unbecoming face of activism will be hidden.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In all countries, but most obvious in Japan, much of the corporate decisions are discussed and prepared even before the stockholders' general meeting and only those already "approved" actually gets on the agenda. Even if activists do create a scene and event, they usually have that covered in advance with people "planted" among them to push through their already planned agendas. That is what they cal l"uchiawase 打合せ” or simply something already internally agreed upon. And they always have such meeting "before" any meeting.

I have attended many such meeting in schools, companies and even non-profit organizations. There is very little opportunity to change the topics in the agenda. Probably the only thing one could change is trying to remove or add a name in a list of already selected and suggested board members and officers.

It is at those "uchiawase" meetings held by various factions before the company level "uchiawase" that the lobbyists contact and try to influence the company. It can be subtle and yet extremely effective pressure upon those that do prepare the final agenda.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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