In Japan Inc, activist investors come in from the cold

By Makiko Yamazaki and Noriyuki Hirata

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I've seen these group dynamics play out in institution after institution ... educational, journalistic, governance, religious, scientific, and even NPO's.

— Communities become institutionalized for commodification.

— This trend is led by those high in 'dark-triad' personality traits ... narcissists, opportunists, and psychopaths.

— Traditions, rules, and algorithms displace empathetic paths of communication.

— Credentialism displaces meritocracy

— Social status in the hierarchy tends to become more highly correlated with extraction of resources from those of of lower status, rather than creativity or production of wealth.

— Given enough time, mission drift, corruption, and eventual collapse are inevitable, wise management can only postpone the inevitable, relatively fair and egalitarian communities are as ephemeral as Mayflies.

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Japan's change is being forced by external governance. Low performance and low productivity puts downward

pressure on share price that has led to foreign owners coming in to takeover weak Japanese companies. Japanese companies are realizing what majority rule really means with shareholder ownership. The new foreign owners are Kicking out bad management and founding families from their thrones. Kingdoms will fall in Japan and we will finally see the needed change in Japan Inc. "All hail foreign ownership!"

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Takeuchi said Hale never told Olympus to sell the camera business, only that he "pointed out issues, like other external directors".

The other external directors were a problem?

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"All hail foreign ownership!"

Japan pretty much created its own downfall anyway. Foreign owners will finally start moving things around for the better. Look at Sony, foreign owners forced positive changes where Sony focuses on creating good gaming devices instead of Sony rice cookers!!

Don't get drunk on an economic bubble! That's the lesson that all nations can learn from Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well, good to see there is some kind of positive change happening in corporate Japan. That being said, the Ghosn case is still very fresh in my mind, so to be perfectly honest, I don't trust the Japanese. They are praising foreign investors now because they are bringing about growth, but I bet that as soon as they get a chance to, they will want to take back power and exclude foreign management, or even worse, repeat the whole nissan debacle again.

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"Activist Investor" is generally just a self styled name adopted by a "Corporate Raider" and designed to feel more PC to the business and media world . Still early doors at Olympus and we will see, but nobody should be fooled by (and everyone wary of) the AI moniker.

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Simply because a business model has myriad flaws and is resistant to reform, don't assume that activist investors are an inherently good thing.

Most are simply looking to make a quick buck by asset stripping a company to the bone, even if they cover this in trendy euphemisms.

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There goes Robert Hale; I must remember to thank him.

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More Asian people are needed for such roles.

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