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Norwegian fund to reject all-male boards in Japanese firms

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Unpopular option: People should not get jobs based on their skin color, gender identity, or ethnicity.

18 ( +37 / -19 )

Japan will make bargain to get some compromise, "How about half male half female person, is it ok?

-15 ( +6 / -21 )

Norway's sovereign wealth fund, the world's biggest, will from now on vote against the nomination of all-male boards in Japanese companies, a senior fund official said Tuesday.

Calling out Japan Inc. old school misogyny is easy.

But I wish Norway's sovereign wealth fund, with it's massive influence live up to the democratic socialist ideals of it's nation and call out the many investors listed in the Panama and Pandora Paper dark money oligarchic money

4 ( +19 / -15 )

Unpopular option: People should not get jobs based on their skin color, gender identity, or ethnicity.

Board member is more than a job, is a small scale policy maker. It decision will effect thousand of people in that company. All male and usually old one in Japan, have no idea what current situation. If it more diverse, male-female and vary among age group, it will give diverse view and many topics, for example like difficulty and challenge for current working mother in company to handle multiple role. Things that 70 year old male board member have no idea.

1 ( +15 / -14 )

Good on them! it is about time Japan is brought into the 21st century even if it is kicking and screaming and throwing manchild tantrums!

-14 ( +16 / -30 )

because they were so far behind 

Japan in 2023 in a nutshell.

-12 ( +15 / -27 )

I fear corporations will appoint two females to their board on the assumption the women will shut up (Mori) and do as they’re told.

What’s that called? Figure head?

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Arbitrary decisions to censor business based on the demographics of the company is bigotry.

4 ( +16 / -12 )

Should do the same for companies that do not have 1/4 of their board members below 50.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

As much as I believe that the system in Japan does need changes and more diverse representation.

This to me is just another " enlightened" " we know better" European country telling the "poor unenlightened " Asians what to do like they do to all the non European countries!

What next not enough LGBTQIA or is it 2LGBTQ.....( I lost count on the letters and numbers)?, not enough Blacks?, not enough non Japanese?

All any of this does is make people doubt the capabilities and legitimacy of any woman that is nominated, if such a policy is implemented.

When companies and schools are force to set aside places for minorities, then even if that person actually deserves the position on the board or entry to a school the first thought in many people's head is:

" did they really get it on merit or did they get it based on policy on gender or ethnicity (race skin colour etc .)"

-3 ( +14 / -17 )

It's just a simple rule of thumb for investment. Barring rare exceptions, all male boards in Japan are governing the companies like we are still in the 1980's. You just can't expect growth from those companies. Having a woman on the board doesn't automatically qualify for better governance but it is one indicator for the board that it is mentally in this century.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

And the nikkei just hit 30,000. It looks like their money is not being missed.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

And Norway gets all its money from Oil. What a joke.

6 ( +15 / -9 )

Some should tell Norway, that Japan is the largest creditor on the Planet.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Isn’t that Discrimination, too?

9 ( +16 / -7 )

Norway has no obligation to invest in Japan.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Norway has no obligation to invest in Japan.

And Japan has no obligation to invest in Europe.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Some should tell Norway, that Japan is the largest creditor on the Planet.

Then why do Japanese companies need funds from the Norwegian fund?

"Japan is the second-biggest single recipient of the fund's investments after the United States."

Japan is not being singled out as stated in the article,

"already rejects nominations to boards for companies in Europe and North America that do not include at least two women."

"The fund held stakes in 1,533 Japanese companies worth a total of some $57 billion, representing 4.9 percent of all its stockholdings at the end of 2022."

There are no statements in the article about LGBT groups, racial groups, or even schools.

The Norwegian Fund wants to see more women on company boards which are positive, not negative, and since it's their money they are handing out they set the rules.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Warren Buffet does not mind.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Norway has been very impressive in what it did with its profits from oil and gas. I wish the UK had done the same but instead PM Thatcher sold them off for a quick profit.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Warren Buffett's shifting Asian portfolio

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/The-Big-Story/Warren-Buffett-s-shifting-Asian-portfolio

2 ( +5 / -3 )

"Of the developed markets, we hadn't started to vote against companies in Japan, because they were so far behind that we really would have hit a large number of companies,"

Ouch. But, as usual, it takes international action and embarrassment to get Japan to change for the better and move away from the dinosaurs.

-6 ( +14 / -20 )

Not many women in Japan have broken the boardroom glass ceiling regardless of their abilities and skills. Many have to start their own companies.

Tomoko Namba

https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20131121-portrait-of-a-start-up-success

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Good on them! it is about time Japan is brought into the 21st century even if it is kicking and screaming and throwing manchild tantrums!

Well said!

-10 ( +9 / -19 )

This is really funny, it should be a Japanese fight for gender equality. Japan has made some progress but as we read sometimes it is still NOT enough.

I hope that Japan will accelerate and bring the millions of women who are just as capable if not even more capable to join the work force on EQUAL FOOTING.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Japanese women are earning 60-70% of men's salaries. Same job, same pay.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Unpopular option: People should not get jobs based on their skin color, gender identity, or ethnicity.

Agreed. It should would no longer be males from prestigious families that went to Waseda.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

"Japanese women are earning 60-70% of men's salaries. Same job, same pay."

In what sector? I'm a high school teacher. Female teachers make the same as male teachers. Due to seniority most female teachers make more than I do, and I'm a fully licensed full-time, salaried teacher.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Makes sense, the firm set the rule AND gave Japan significantly more leeway than other countries specifically because it was so far behind the times. If you still are not meeting their requirements they have no reason to accommodate them.

Like the article and everyone knows, Japan has one of the best educated female populations in the world and almost exclusively refused to use it. Crazy that we have to twist their arms domestically and internationally.

JUST USE THEM AND MAKE THAT MONEY

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Only time a Japanese leader has been held really accountable was Prime Minister Nakasone,who tried too justify White Supremacy ,by claiming Black and Mexican were not educated as White people,got even a swift rebuke from both houses of Congress,lots of Asian believe that lie,while billion live under the most repressive government on Earth,even here at JT,they do not hold Japanese society accountable,I guess it hurt their ad revenue ,prove me wrong,but you want Google Prime Minister Nakasone Congressional Rebuke

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

As all of us that live here we know that in order for the Japan old guard to change they need strong push and getting diversity on the boards is necessary to properly represent the companies as a whole and I daresay to actually thrive in the present world. And yes there ARE qualified women and qualified other ethnicities, from my observance in working in several Japanese companies.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Good news. Studies show that having more women at the top meant better company performance, greater productivity and greater profitability.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

"Of the developed markets, we hadn't started to vote against companies in Japan, because they were so far behind that we really would have hit a large number of companies,"

With a pinpoint accuracy lacking in NK's missiles, Norway just hit Japan with a big old truth bomb.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Japanese did not wear trousers or had a Parliamentary form of government,they lived under a feudal system,in which warlords rule much of Japanese,if Foreigners know your history,they can use your insecurities too their advantage,like the European doing here, Japanese are portrayed too the world as been overly smart, you would not get this impression from the leaders they elect,a defacto feudal system form of government in

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Someone has got serve tea, right?

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

The European are catching hell ,they are in no position either,they are trying to defect the hell,they will catch from Putin in the foreseeable future,how many minority on European boards

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

They believe that there should be more women on boards as they are equal if not "better" than men. It is claimed that men hold the positions simply because they are men and that women are discriminated against, and not chosen because of their gender.

So the answer is to..... choose based on gender?

Surely if they based it on performance/history, women being equal or arguably "better" than men in some areas, would be sufficient ?

Choose the most qualified/competent person for the role. Anything else is discrimination.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

"Someone has got serve tea, right?" Might I suggest a calendar. You seem to be stuck in the Japan of the 1990's

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Has Japan really changed 170 years after the end of fuedal Japan but live under a modern day fuedal system , Japanese that live on the bottom rung during the fuedal system generally catch hell like ,some are catching it today in modern Japan

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Men are elected to the board because they are also men not always because they are the best candidate to fill a position.

There was the medical university scandal failing more female students.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Wallace,this has nothing to do with man or woman,but the psychological attitude of some Japanese,you living in Japan,I do not ,you should have a front row view of Japanese attitude in Japan,

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Even today Japan try to sell to the world,this ancient form of feudalism mentality,they do not tell the world the hell ,you would live ,even America,they do not try to sugar coat the hell slave lived under,and other oppress people through American history,how many of you Japanese would take a time machine,back too fuedal Japan,even here you let others write your history and you show no resistance,

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Lots of you downvoters,you are acting out your passive aggressive toward me or you wish you have a response,I have nothing against Japanese people,wish you have the ability to freely express yourself as a human being,maybe someday you will

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Who cares? Barking dogs usually don’t bite. Of course they have a right to vote for or against whatever they like, but only related to their share percentage and documented voting rights. It’s therefore only significant if they would have 50% plus one share of a certain affected company or if they are in possession of a blocking minority clause in some investment treaties and then could block or postpone some unwanted board decisions. Usually it’s not significant what they are talking here, especially as such funds often act even more profit oriented and only hold shares of the type with higher dividends but then excluded voting rights.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yrral

happy to see you think the Japanese are "human beings" and I can verify you are correct in your assumption and suggest one day since you like posting so much, you actually come for a visit and find out for yourself.

Your constant negative comments about Japan/Japanese are not welcome and thus you get minus votes.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Norway's sovereign wealth fund requiring a minimum of two women board directors is not a big demand.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Gender equality should not have to be a demand. People should be in positions based on their knowledge, experience and merit. Japan went through the same thing with upper house politicians. Putting women into positions of power should be done on merit and not just as a token female.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Vacancies and positions should go to the most qualified and experienced but a woman candidate should not be rejected just for being female.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It was also found that, on average, the wage level of women was 76% that of men. The difference in length of service and the low ratio of women in management positions are believed to have affected the result, and the gender "pay gap" in Japanese companies was once again highlighted.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20230307/p2a/00m/0na/022000c#:~:text=It%20was%20also%20found%20that,companies%20was%20once%20again%20highlighted.

Gender gap persists in Japan as women earn 74% as much as men

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Society/Gender-gap-persists-in-Japan-as-women-earn-74-as-much-as-men

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Their position is fair enough. They are stock holders and as such have voting rights.

They clearly believe the best results are gained through diversity in board makeup. They may be right. The more options that can be considered may well give additional avenues for better outcomes.

Or they may be wrong, and time will tell.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's their money, really no different than ESG, investing in a manner that promotes values they cherish, like diversity and equality. Pretty clear Norway's been very successful on all fronts, especially societal happiness.

Japan should wake up, if half your citizens considered 'second tier', impossible to rank well in societal happiness or number of babies. South Korea, ditto!

Bravo Norway, way to lead by example!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

on average, the wage level of women was 76% that of men.

The difference in length of service and the low ratio of women in management positions are believed to have affected the result" So, we are not talking apples and apples. Like I've stated, most female teachers at my school make more than me due to seniority...or as your statement illustrates...due to "length of service" The "low-ratio of women in management positions" is sheer conjecture and a sexist one at that.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@ wallace

As per your affixed article: The average monthly pay for female full-time workers in Japan came to 251,800 yen ($2,190) in 2020, compared with 338,800 yen for their male counterparts.

This includes ALL jobs. Keep in mind you've claimed "for doing the same job"...you neglected to account for "differing years of experience". Female teachers with more experience make more than their male counterparts...who do the same job.

There's also this statement, which is telling: "Many factors contribute to the problem. "There are few women not only in management roles, but also in high-paying and specialized professions like medical doctors and lawyers," said Kazuo Yamaguchi, a sociology professor at the University of Chicago."

So, we are averaging salaries that include doctors, lawyers and MamiMart clerks. Doctor is not the same job as cashier.

And this: "And while female participation in Japan's workforce topped 70% in 2018, 54% of working women in 2021 held irregular jobs, compared with 22% of working men."

So, part-time work is included in the average?!! There's your "pay-gap" right there

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

This is good in itself, but I bet the main reason they'll be interested in any Japanese company is profitability.

They will not care if the company does not pay staff well or dumps everyone out of the door at sixty, so long as it has tasty profits.

They will probably not care if it uses lots of tropical hardwood from Borneo or produces lots of plastic waste and forever chemicals, again so long as it has tasty profits.

It may be going out of its way to make some point about female representation here, but I can guarantee you it is not pushing for any full-spectrum version of social responsibility. Norwegians drive expensive electric cars like Teslas that are paid for by exporting oil. Make of that what you will.

I asked Chat GPT a while ago which Japanese company had a good return and it told me "TEPCO". If all you want is money, that's a good company to invest in, regardless of what it may or may not have done in Tohoku.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@ wallace

I also found it odd that the dollar sum for men was excluded from the article you've affixed.

Here it is: $2431 for men, $2,190 for women. This average includes the salaries of doctors (mostly men) and MamiMart cashiers (mostly women).

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Most board members of all ages ,races and sex orientation ,have a tendency to yes people, willing to sell out their soul for profit

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Worth noting, there are clear correlations between boardroom diversity and performance of underlying equities relative to their benchmarks. Numerous studies.

Companies should also consider above, happier employees, customers and other stakeholders tends to work pretty well for shareholders as well!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's interesting, Nikkei 225 even at recent highs for many decades underperforms the S&P 500 by approx. 10x in the last 3+ decades. Seems legacy culture not working, even with BOJ buying up all ETF shares.

If you want to appeal to and succeed in global markets, modern global values needed, not dead legacy ones.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Most male doctors earned between 4 million yen ($34,900) and 5 million yen in the fiscal year following their graduation. The disparity in annual income with regard to the opposite sex came to around 1 million yen.

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14534323

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@ wallace

"Most male doctors earned between 4 million yen ($34,900) and 5 million yen in the fiscal year following their graduation. The disparity in annual income with regard to the opposite sex came to around 1 million yen."

I suggest reading the articles you affix more carefully. It doesn't refer to medical doctors, but people with a Ph.D.

This also from the article you've affixed.

"The NISTEP noted the gender difference likely emanates from more women opting to work in humanities fields, where salaries are generally lower."

So, again, we're comparing apples and oranges. People with a Ph.D in African Dance studies, make less than those with a degree in Engineering.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Geeter McKuluskie

I read the article and I quoted from it.

Male Ph.D. earned more than females.

Women are often denied entry into the higher-paid professions.

It is far from a level playing field.

40% of top companies have two women directors on their boards.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@ wallace

"The NISTEP noted the gender difference likely emanates from more women opting to work in humanities fields, where salaries are generally lower."

The pay gap issue regarding Ph.D holders has to do with the field, not the gender

By stating "most male doctors make less than female doctors" makes it sound like most male physicians make more than female physicians. Same job, less pay.

However, we are not talking about the same job. At least the article you've cited isn't. It's talking about the difference in pay between different jobs.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@ wallace

"40% of top companies have two women directors on their boards". So, 60% have more or fewer female directors on their boards. What do we know of the women in those companies? What kind of overtime have they put in, in comparison to their male counterparts, how many women applied for such positions, what is the criteria for such a position? Have the women in those company outperformed the men in terms of meeting those criteria? That there is a disparity in outcomes does not equate to a disparity in opportunity.

"Women are often denied entry into higher-paid positions"

Source? Evidence? Methodology?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is all so confusing! We are constantly being told that there are no longer men and women, that genders are "fluid". Surely the board members could "identify" as whatever the Norwokians wanted them to be.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Getting diversity this way isn't exactly progress

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Geeter MckluskieToday  11:52 am JST

"Someone has got serve tea, right?" Might I suggest a calendar. You seem to be stuck in the Japan of the 1990's

Might I suggest a bottle of humor supplements? You seem to be stuck in the world of the 2020’s.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

People with a Ph.D in African Dance studies, make less than those with a degree in Engineering.

They should have equal pay. Diversity, equity and inclusion are important now.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"Might I suggest a bottle of humor supplements? You seem to be stuck in the world of the 2020’s."

A sense of humour involves understanding what is funny and why. One aspect of humour is it rings true, which is what makes it funny. "Someone has got to serve tea, right?" is bottom of the barrel in the humour department for two reasons. One being it doesn't ring true, the other being it's juvenile in that it smacks of being desperate for attention in a Tourette Syndrome kind of impulse way rather than making light of some quirky aspect of the subject that is interesting.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

What people don't realize is that a lot of boardrooms got to be a male-dominated club in the first place is simply because they're males, not because of their merits

What, do ya really believe all those male board members got to their positions because of their merit? Lol

So, complaining that new female board members may not have gotten there due to merit is................... forgetting that the males that they're replacing may not have gotten there due to merit neither

So it's a wash then?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Good news. Playtime over Looters.

"Norwokians" laying it out for ya, no hold barred. Big moneys got the pinstripe sidemen and

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

A sense of humour involves understanding what is funny and why. One aspect of humour is it rings true, which is what makes it funny. "Someone has got to serve tea, right?" is bottom of the barrel in the humour department for two reasons. One being it doesn't ring true, the other being it's juvenile in that it smacks of being desperate for attention in a Tourette Syndrome kind of impulse way rather than making light of some quirky aspect of the subject that is interesting.

It might have been too deep for you to appreciate. It was a reflection on the decades-old attitudes and culture of so many older, entrenched executives that many of us older hands in Japan know well. Humor is also the exaggeration of the ridiculous. I suspect you’re a generation or two younger than those times in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Attempting to manipulate other nations to 'modernise' their culture in this way, doesn't usually go down too well. It is true that 'requiring a minimum of two women board directors is not a big demand', but it is a demand, and people don't like to be forced to change their ways with the inference that they are primitive, backward, and wrong. That always stings a bit. The best you will get are a couple of token puppets added to tick the boxes.

We all know that Japan suffers from not promoting on ability and that Japanese women have a tough time. And we all know that Japan Inc. won't change this side of hell freezing over. The real solution lies with sisters doin' it for themselves. A younger generation building networks and creating wealth despite the way the ancien regime operate. Japan Inc. won't change. But something new can be built alongside it. Social and cultural change is not quick. You cannot point and click it. If the Norwegian wealth fund wants to manipulate Japanese society to improve gender equality, it should stop virtue signalling and start investing in young Japanese companies with diverse make-ups, rather than threatening the coffin-dodging phallocracy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Then why do Japanese companies need funds from the Norwegian fund?

They dont. The Japanese fund is 3x bigger.

 

Japan’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Surpasses Norway’s as World’s Largest

 

https://www.ai-cio.com/news/japans-sovereign-wealth-fund-surpasses-norways-worlds-largest/

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Nice try. Not.

*The world's largest sovereign wealth fund (SWF) as of December 2022 was China Investment Corporation (CIC), managing assets reaching around 1.35 trillion U.S. dollars. The CIC is used to manage a portion of China's foreign currency reserves and established in 2007.*

GreenstingrayJune 1 09:39 am JST 

Japan’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Surpasses Norway’s as World’s Largest

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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