RIETI Policy Symposium

Emerging Patterns of Corporate Governance among Japanese Firms - Converging to Any Specific Model?


This conference addresses the evolving patterns of corporate governance among Japanese corporations since the mid-1990s. The Japanese firm is now facing a fundamental challenge and transformation of its postwar corporate governance institutions. The main bank system, cross-shareholding, lifetime employment, and Japanese-style management appear to be eroding, but have not disappeared. New patterns of corporate governance have also been enabled through legal reforms, innovations in corporate finance, and shifting boundaries of firms. However, little consensus exists among experts about the true extent and impact of reforms. Do these changes mean that Japan now converging on the U.S. model? Or has Japan made progress in developing a new and distinct approach to corporate governance? Have reforms been adequate to promote changes beneficial to company practice and performance?

The conference brings together leading international experts to present and discuss new empirical findings on Japanese corporate governance established through past and ongoing RIETI research projects on this theme based on selections from a forthcoming book, Corporate Governance in Japan: Organizational Diversity and Institutional Change (edited by Masahiko Aoki, Gregory Jackson and Hideaki Miyajima for Oxford University Press 2005). A key issue will be to understand the growing diversity among Japanese corporations as firms adopt reforms to different degrees and in different combinations. Greater diversity places in question to notion of a coherent and homogeneous "Japanese model," and points to a new agenda for research in understanding the diversity of corporate governance within a national system.


  • Date and Time: 20 October (Wed.), 2004. 9:00-18:00
  • Venue: Elizabeth Rose Hall, United Nations University (Shibuya-ku, Tokyo)
  • Language: Japanese / English (with simultaneous interpretation)
  • Charge: ¥800 (an official receipt will be issued)
  • Host: Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI)
  • Contact: RIETI Ms. Taeko Matsukura
    Tel: 03-3501-8398

* Streaming video footage of and handouts pertaining to the symposium will be available for downloading from the RIETI website after the event.


9:00-9:10 Opening Remarks
9:10-9:20 Introduction
9:20-10:40 Session 1: Bank-Firm Relationships and Financial Distress
9:20-9:40 Presentation: The Changing Nature of Bank-Firm Relationships
9:40-10:00 Presentation: Corporate Governance in Financial Distress: The New Role of Bankruptcy
10:00-10:20 Comments
HORIUCHI Akiyoshi (Professor, Chuo University)
10:20-10:40 Q&A
10:40-10:50 Coffee Break
10:50-12:10 Session 2: Changing Ownership Structure
10:50-11:10 Presentation: Dissolving Cross-shareholding: Why, How and Implications
11:10-11:30 Presentation: Foreign Investors and Corporate Governance
Christina L. AHMADJIAN (Professor, Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy, Hitotsubashi University)
11:30-11:50 Comments
OSANO Hiroshi (Professor, Kyoto Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University)
11:50-12:10 Q&A
12:10-13:20 Lunch
13:20-14:40 Session 3: Corporate Board Reform
13:20-13:40 Presentation: The Turnaround of 1997: Changes of Japanese Corporate Governance and Corporate Law
SHISHIDO Zenichi (Professor, Law School, Seikei University)
13:40-14:00 Presentation: The Changing Corporate Boardroom: Causes and Results
14:00-14:20 Comments
YANAI Hiroyuki (Japan Association of Corporate Directors)
14:20-14:40 Q&A
14:40-14:50 Coffee Break
14:50-16:10 Session 4: Corporate Governance and Employment System
14:50-15:10 Presentation: Corporate Finance and Human Resource Management
15:10-15:30 Presentation: Employee Participation, Adjustment and Distributional Conflict
15:30-15:50 Comments
MIYAMOTO Mitsuharu (Professor, Graduate School of Economics, Senshu University)
15:50-16:10 Q&A
16:10-16:20 Coffee Break
16:20-18:00 Session 5: Conclusions
16:20-17:00 Presentation: Institutional Change and the Diversity of Corporate Governance in Japan
17:00-17:20 Comments
ITOH Hideshi (Professor, Hitotsubashi University)
17:20-17:40 Comments
TERANISHI Juro (Professor, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University)
17:40-18:00 Q&A
18:10-19:30 Reception (Venue: Restaurant "Un café")
* The agenda is subject to change.