Canon Appoints First Outside Directors After Years of Resistance

(Reuters) – Canon Inc has appointed its first outside directors, ending years of high-profile resistance to opening up its boardroom as pressure mounts on Japan's big companies to improve governance and better manage risks.

The camera maker's long-serving chief executive Fujio Mitarai, who headed Japan's powerful Keidanren business lobby from 2006 to 2010, had argued that only insiders could understand the company well enough to serve effectively on its board.

Canon's surprise move follows similar shifts at Japanese bellwethers such as Toyota Motor Corp and Hitachi Ltd as globalization helps to prise open their decision-making structures to the outside world…. contd –>

The Board Director Training Institute (BDTI) is a "public interest" nonprofit in Japan dedicated to training about directorship, corporate governance, and related management techniques. It is certified by the Japanese government to conduct these activities as a regulated nonprofit. Read a summary about BDTI here, and see a menu of its services for both corporations and investors here.

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