English readers (and sponsors)may be interested to know about recent seminars provided by BDTI, and those that are in the works. Briefly:
1) On September 16, 2011,Thomson Reuters and WestlawJapan hosted BDTI’s highly successful first event, on the topic of How Can Amendment of the Company Law Improve Corporate Governance? On the panel, led by Prof. Osugi of Chuo Law School, were two members of the MOJ's committee on Company Law amendment (ProfessorsNomura and Tanaka); one of Japan's most prominent corporate lawyers (Kenichi Fujinawa of Nagashima, Ohno & Tsunematsu); and the well-known CIO of Tokio & Marine Asset Management, Hirofumi Kasai.
2)On October 18, White & Case hosted BDTI’s popular seminar onThe Global Wave of Anti-Corruption Law.Our main speaker was Arthur Mitchell, senior counsel at White & Case – Japan and the former General Counsel at the Asia Development Bank, for whom abolishing corruption is a very big issue because it is estimated that more than 5% of global GDP is lost because of corruption.He was followed by Dan Konigsburg, Managing Director at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd.’s Global Corporate Governance Center.Last but not least, Grant Newsham, Executive Director in charge of corporate security at Morgan Stanley Japan also spoke about methods for avoiding dealings with anti-social organizations.
3) On October 28, BDTI held a seminar on the topic ofWhat Board Members Should Know About Risk Management, led by Attorney and Certified Fraud Examiner Toshiaki Yamaguchi, creator of one of Japan's most popular blogs on legal topics and a specialist in compliance and fraud prevention (and a CFE), and Mr. Niki, a CPAand an expert member ofDeloitte's Enterprise Risk Services team.
4) On November 28, BDTI’ held a seminar on “Large Shareholders in Japanese Companies, and Proxy Voting”, with speakers Nicholas Benes of BDTI, Hiroyuki Matsuzaki (head of the TSE’s listing division), and Takeyuki Ishida, in charge of proxy voting at Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc. (ISS) in Tokyo. Mr. Ishida explained ISS’ recent voting policy changes for Japan in depth, and Mr. Matsuzaki explained the TSE’s position at that point regarding listing criteria impacting the Olympus situation.
5) On March 12,2012, Major law firm TMI hosted BDTI's seminar entitled “Thinking About Corporate Governance: the Proposal by the Democratic Party’s ‘Working Group’.” Our main speaker was Shinsuke Amiya, a Lower House member who is a leader of the Working Group. He was followed by Masami Hadama, an ex-MOJ attorney at TMI Associates. Later, Nobumichi Hattori (external director at FAST Retailing and visiting Professor at Waseda Graduate School), Yuzuru Mizuno (outside director at Kubota Group and former director at Panasonic), and Nicholas Benes of BDTI joined a panel discussion led by Prof. Osugi of Chuo Law School.
6) On March 13,2012, BDTI held a seminar focusing on “How Governance Mis-Steps and Scandals Start: Their Hidden ‘Seeds’ – How to Get the Most Risk Protection While Minimizing Costs”, featuring analysis of a number of past incidents in a deep-drilldown exposition by the popular Attorney and Certified Fraud Examiner Toshiaki Yamaguchi.
Some examples of events now planned or being considered for the near future include:
“After Olympus,…What Do Foreign Investors Want from Japanese Companies?”
“Engagement and IR in the Post-Cross-Shareholding Phase That Has Begun”
Focus on Improving Audits in Japan: the FSA’s Mr. Sasaki, and two experienced statutor auditors
“What Board Members Need to Know About Potential Liability Under the Securities Law”
Women on Japanese boards, and the benefits of diversity
What “becoming a global company” really means; what practices and systems does it require
Please let us know what topics interest you and your other Japanese-speaking friends, and what sort of knowledge is most needed by your company. We are interested to know about the needs of foreign executives and companies in Japan, too!