BDTI Progress Update, and 2014 Fund-Raising Drive – Your Chance to Show You Care About Corporate Governance in Japan!

The Board Director Training Instituteof Japan (BDTI) is the only organization in Japan focusing on the vital area of governance and directorship training for all board members. We are a rare “public-interest” organization, which means that BDTI is certified as such by the Japanese government and generally has tax-free status as a result.

I would like to give you an update about BDTI’s progress, and invite you to participate in our fund-raising drive for this year by making a donation, which is now possible by both bank remittance (best) and credit card (also welcome!).

During the last fiscal year, BDTI significantly expanded its “reach” and impact. We trained 510 people at “drill-down” seminars,185 persons at intensive director training or global compliance courses (vs. 67 last year), and 442 persons at otherprograms and/or speeches. In addition, we delivered our E-Learning to 60 new users. As a result, during the last fiscal year BDTI managed to break even, and even paidits Representative Director his first small salary in four years.

Thanks to the support of our donors and other supportive parties, BDTI and its leaders achieved a number of milestones last year in its quest to improve corporate governance in Japan. These include:

Improving the quality of our directorship programs in both Japanese and English
Adding a course for “global compliance” that also includes key governance topics; and anew English course on “Reading Financial Statements as a Board Member”
Addressing key topics raised by amendment of the Company Law in drill-down seminars
Renewing our web site to simplify it and add new content (note: tjre is muchmore content is on the Japanese site, of course)
Adding on-line signup, video capability (scroll down, see our promo video)
Credit-card payment functionality for donations
Launching a smart phone version of our web site
“Thought leadership” on the LDP’s proposals for a Corp. Governance Code and rules about director training
Contributing tothe Japan-related section of ACGA’s report comparing audit committees and statutory auditor boards(download the paper via the linkon this page.)

However, it is still not easy to attract new applicants to our most important offering, our Japanese one-day course, simply because the concept of external training – or in many cases, the concept of any meaningful orientation for board members -, is new in Japan. Expansion of our activities would be helped most of all by the promulgation of a Corporate Governance Code (or simply, a TSE rule) requiring companies to disclose their policy about director training – whether they have a policy, and if so, what it is. (Such disclosurewould of course also help investing institutions act asbetter stewards.)At the same time, we at BDTI must constantly seek to improve our course materials, and make them as relevant and cost-effective as possible for executives and board members.

Any donation that you could consider making in this new fiscal year would be very much appreciated. If desired, donations exceeding 300,000 Yen (about $3,100) will be listedas “Special Sponsors” on this “About Us” page of our web site. This will help BDTI most of all, as it will show companies here that their shareholders consider directorshiptraining to be essential to good governance.Also,if you would kindly please “like” us on Facebook, and “register” BDTI’s YouTube channel (see below), we would greatly appreciate it. In particular, the latter will help us expand our offerings. (Wewill be happy to explain why separately.)

BDTI’s popular English-language “Director Boot Camp” will next be held on June 12. Kindly please tell anyone you think may or should be interested – including portfolio companies. We will offer our next Japanese language 「国際ガバナンス塾」 directorship program on June 30. Descriptions and on-line signup forms for both programs can be found here.

Lastly,in 2013we successfully moved BDTI’s office to a room in my house in order to save costs. Please note the address change if you have not already done so.

Nicholas Benes

Representative Director, The Board Director Training Institute of Japan (BDTI)

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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