”Rebuilding trust – Lessons on the importance of staying ethical”

”The end of the financial year reveals the true depths of the self-inflicted wounds at Toshiba, as it seeks to drag itself out of the quagmire created by one of several major accounting scandals to have hit the country’s corporate sector in recent years.

The global consumer electronics firm said it was forecasting full-year losses of $6 billion, and would have to cut more than 10,000 jobs.

Like other Japanese companies currently embroiled in scandals — the optical equipment maker Olympus, the air bag-maker Takata and the construction materials firm Asahi Kasei — Toshiba is also counting the cost of the damage to its reputation, both at home and abroad.

Corporate scandals are not unique to Japan, of course. Some of the most significant overseas debacles of recent decades have involved US and European companies, from the US energy trader Enron and British Petroleum, to the German industrial conglomerate Siemens, and Industrivärden, a Swedish holding company that last year found itself at the centre of a scandal over corporate jets.

But there is little doubt that Japan’s business reputation has taken a significant hit. As the firms involved attempt to weather media and public opprobrium — and protect their bottom line — now is the right time to ask if they have learned anything from their travails and, more to the point, if there is anything other firms can take away from their struggles, aside from a dose of schadenfreude.

Japan’s experience is instructive, given that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made corporate governance a key part of his economic agenda. In addition, demonstrating more than lip service to ethical conduct has acquired new significance amid heightened interest in Japan among overseas investors. Perhaps most important of all, failure to overhaul its corporate culture will only do further damage to Japan’s already tarnished image……….”

Read full article here: http://eurobiz.jp/2016/03/rebuilding-trust/

Source: Eurobiz Japan

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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