1/19 “Director Boot Camp” Held by Zoom! Next Course: 3/29!

BDTI Boot Camp
Based on interest from participants overseas, BDTI held its English Director Boot Camp via teleconference on January 19th. The day-long intensive course was attended by highly-experienced and highly interactive participants all the way from Hong Kong, Papua New Guinia to Europe. The participants heard lectures about corporate governance by Nicholas Benes and there were lots of interactive discussion and Q&A about real-life situations on Japanese boards, and how to handle them. You get even more in the additional materials we provide in your thick binder.

Save Taxes, While Improving Corporate Governance in Japan !!

The tax year will soon end! If you are interested to help improve corporate governance in Japan by supporting its up-and-coming “Institute of Directors”, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to our government-certified non-profit using this link: https://bdti.or.jp/en/about/make-a-donation/  . a Here is “why director training is so essential in Japan:   あ Donations to BDTI can be […]

AGM Season in Japan: Time to Encourage Director Training!

Unfortunately, every June at AGMs in Japan most investors approve the vast majority of director candidates –even first-time director candidates — without confirming whether they have ever received any form of director training to prepare them, or a “refresher” course on emerging issues and new best practices. Because of this, an increasingly large percent of directors in Japan have served less than three years (at least 30% in the case of outside directors!) in their very first director position, but have never even received basic training.  METI and the FSA are starting to consider this as a major problem.

Serving as a director on a public company board is not the same job as serving as a lawyer, academic, or the head of global sales.  It requires different knowledge, mindset and preparation.  Raising PBRs, improving sustainability, DEI, and optimizing the business portfolio are not going to “happen” by themselves just because those topics appear in pronouncements and the press.  They will only take root and consistently improve if the quality of Japanese boards increases.  But right now, the average quality of boards is quite low, as can be seen from these…

Webinar: “Using High-Dimensional Corporate Governance Variables to Predict Firm Performance in Japan”

On June 13th, join us for a discussion showing the future of corporate governance analysis.  In this webinar we will introduce the results of leading-edge academic research to determine whether corporate governance practices and firm characteristics can be used to predict firm performance over the short-, mid-, and long-term. Earlier attempts at this research have always come with limitations or been focused narrowly on certain practices, but using BDTI’s detailed database focusing on Japanese corporate governance practices and important characteristics of all listed firms in Japan, researchers have been able to conclude that certain corporate governance practices and facts should be of interest to every investor.

Using BDTI’s High-Dimensional CG Big Data to Predict TSR in Japan (working paper)

This is the first draft of a working paper led by two respected Japanese academicians who used governance and firm-specific big data to predict future equity returns in Japan . Conclusion: “we constructed a prediction model of firms’ future TSR and used it to show that the investment strategy based on the model’s predictions could generate non-negligible improvement in returns. These results suggest that high-dimensional corporate governance variables contain informative signals associated with future firm performance over and above reliance on purely financial data.”

The research was conducted using BDTI’s detailed, Japan-specific time-series database for all listed companies in Japan. The results are consistent with the fact that every fund manager that has backtested our data so far has bought a license, and every licensee has renewed so far. It would seem that Japan’s square peg of three different governance structures and peculiar practices does not seem to fit into the standard “global” round hole framework used by other data providers.

Swiss Institute of Directors Donates 600,000 Yen to BDTI

Re: Donation of the Swiss Institute of Directors

2023 From: Hilb, Martin
Sent: Saturday, April 15, 2023
Dear Nicholas
Many thanks for your valuable BDTI’s update report for the FY 2022 and for the great summary of your plans for the current year which is very much appreciated. We would like to congratulate you and your team for your great achievements!
Per your request please receive a donation from the Swiss Institute of Directors which is also a not for profit organization. Best wishes and kind regards,
Martin Hilb
President of the Swiss Institute of Directors

BDTI Director Training for Women Initiative 2023


The Board Director Training Institute of Japan (“BDTI”) will again announce this year an initiative to sponsor board director training courses for women. The goal of the initiative is to equip highly qualified female leaders with the skills and training needed to succeed as board directors, and to proactively address the imbalance in board gender diversity in Japan by growing the pool of board-ready, qualified female director candidates.

Starting April 3rd, for qualified women who enroll to take any of BDTI’s director training courses as described below, one of the generous sponsor companies will cover all costs.  These Japanese and English-language training programs have been designed by leading experts in Japan to prepare candidates to serve as directors, statutory auditors, and executive officers in Japan. We look forward to many qualified woman taking advantage of this opportunity to receive director education.

Information &  Procedures for Application


Accepted from April 3, 2023 until funds depleted. Sponsors will determine whether to award scholarships to applicants. Scholarship applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, so please send your outline resume as soon as possible.

BDTI Update, Plans for Next Year, and Scholarships Initiative

As the pandemic wound down through 2022, BDTI returned to in-person training. During FY2023, fully 55% of the participants in our “open enrollment” programs were women, thanks in large part to a generously sponsored program that funded “training scholarships” for women. The year before, the equivalent figure was only 32%. We would like to maintain this level of 50%+ female participation in order to spread knowledge of governance and directorship skills throughout all of Japanese society, which is BDTI’s core mission, and to promote the active inclusion of women in director and executive roles as part of that mission.

According to a METI survey, only 20% of listed companies are “taking action on director training”. In addition, while the CGC and related rules have enhanced disclosure, this new data is significantly underutilized. In FY2023, BDTI plans to intensify its activities to increase the quality and breadth of its programs, and to provide disclosure “big data” which facilitates effective stewardship and thereby improves the economy. To achieve our goals, we need to ask for your kind financial support.

We are pleased to report on our activities through March 2023 and our planned activities for the fiscal year 2023. The same information is also available in PDF format.

BDTI Year-End Donation Campaign and Update

We would greatly appreciate it if you could possibly donate to BDTI, and even if not, forward this link to any and all.  Thank you for your support !
Friends, Supporters, and Compatriots Overseas , — As the end of the year approaches, we at The Board Director Training Institute of Japan want to recognize all of the people who have helped us fulfill our dream of adequately training directors in Japan. Our small organization and its passionate team have endured for 13 years, and have managed to have an outsized impact. For a full list of our recent activities, I hope you’ll read the update below of our recent activities and milestones, to see just how much of an impact your contributions can have, and for many of you, did have.
Every donation provides much-needed fuel for our many courses, seminars, webinars, and outreach activities in support of better corporate governance in Japan, where the market-clearing price for director training is still very low.  As you consider your tax position at the end of 2022, we humbly ask if you would be willing to contribute whatever you can to help us continue this amazing journey and the successes we’ve had.