GoToData by BDTI: Japanese Disclosure, by All listed Firms, Now Easily Accessible in English!

Why wade through 100+ pages of unusable PDF-formatted Japanese jungle, when you can jump directly to the parts you want, read them in English, and quickly cut and paste both text and tables you want to analyze and compare? Why not save 70% of your time and conveniently review the official source documents submitted by all 3,600+ Japanese listed companies?  Click on the center of the image below to view in full screen “flipbook” mode, and contact us at if you are interested to know more. Qualifying parties may receive demonstrations and trial accounts.
Ready or not, Japanese disclosure has now entered the age of machine-readable digital data! The dream that I presented to Japanese lawmakers in February of 2014 [1] can now be realized: a world where a Corporate Governance Code requires detailed disclosure of the inner workings of companies’ governance black boxes, and that information is seamlessly available to all investors, thus making it possible for them to do the analysis they must do to be good “stewards”.  As a result, the Stewardship Code will be able to function in reality, not just in theory.

[1] 2月6日に自民党の日本経済再生本部の金融調査会に呼ばれて、コードの概念、政策としての位置付け、入れるべき内容の例を「日本経済の復活のため、コーポレート・ガバナンス・コードの早期制定を」というプレゼン資料を使って説明した。その後、議員らにさまざまなアドバイスと提供させていただいた。

Amendments to Japan’s Foreign Direct Investment Law—Heightened Review of Inbound Investments

(Summary by Stephen Bohrer of Nishimura & Asahi)

“From June 7, 2020, overseas investors may no longer be able to purchase shares of certain Japanese companies. The Japanese government passed amendments to its foreign direct investment laws that lower the government approval threshold from 10% to a mere 1% for share acquisitions of publicly traded companies that engage in a broad range of business activities deemed critical to national security, public safety, public infrastructure, or Japan’s economy (the “FDI Amendments”). The Japanese government claimed that its foreign direct investment laws required a major overhaul because it lacked legislation to effectively screen foreign direct investment to the same recent extent as other developed countries. In particular, Japan’s Ministry of Finance noted the 2018 passage of the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act in the United States and European Union regulations adopted in 2019 establishing a framework for monitoring foreign direct investments as examples of how Japan’s foreign direct investment regime lagged behind international standards. As a result, practically every share acquisition by an overseas investor of a publicly traded company now deemed critical to Japan will require government approval, unless an exemption applies.

This edition of the Corporate Counselor outlines the broad reach of the FDI Amendments and the exemptions that curtail its application, and then proceeds to highlight issues that prospective overseas investors should consider through a question and answer format. Given the complexity of the FDI Amendments, decision tree diagrams are included in annexes to provide a visual flow of how the FDI Amendments apply to a transaction.

METRICAL: Study on Committees

Over the past year, an increasing number of companies have set up nomination and compensation committees. In order to improve transparency and objectivity and considering the continuity of management, establishing these committees is a key issue in enhancing corporate governance. Due to the request of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, many companies have moved to set up advisory committees lately. On the other hand, only a limited number of companies have moved to the organization structure of a company with 3 statutory committees for the same period.

Based on the data of approximately 1,800 companies, we will show how far companies have progressed in setting up the committees for the past 2 years since March 2018. As shown the chart below, compared to March 2018 and April 2020, the number of companies with statutory nominating committee and compensation committee increased modestly from 65 companies/all 1,796 companies to 68 companies/all 1,753 companies in total. It obviously shows how difficult the companies consider moving to the structure with 3 statutory committees. On the other hand, as for the optional (advisory) committees, an increasing number of companies have set up the nomination committee and compensation committee. The number of companies with optional (advisory) nomination committee increased from 550 companies /1,731 companies (31.8% of all companies excluding the companies with structure having 3 statutory committees) as of March 2018 to 949 companies/1,685 (56.3% of all companies excluding the companies with structure having 3 statutory committees as of April 2020. Similarly, the number of companies with optional (advisory) compensation committee increased from 609 companies/1,731 companies (35.2% of all companies excluding the companies with structure having 3 statutory committees) as of March 2018 to 992 companies/1,685 companies (58.9% of all companies excluding the companies with structure having 3 statutory committees) as of April 2020.

METRICAL: April – Prices Rose But CG Top 20 Slightly Underperforming

The market price in April 2020 has recovered significantly from the previous month when it continued to decline significantly due to concerns over the spread of new corona infections. The world market price turned to an increase as the US stock prices rose from expectations for good clinical trials of corona drugs. Both Topix and JPX400 stock indexes have risen for the first time in four months since January, recovering 4.54% and 4.60% respectively in the last month. CG rating score Top20 stock price was slightly underperforming with 4.15%. The volatility (standard deviation) for the current month is 7.65%, 7.74%, 4.11% for Topix, JPX400, and CG Top20 stocks, respectively.