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Welcome to Manifest-I the blog of Manifest Information Services Ltd. Here we take a wide ranging view of topical governance and stewardship issues. Please feel free to add your comments and join the debate. Sign up to receive free weekly updates.

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In the pursuit of secure investment returns, diverse viewpoints based on high-quality data and varied information are critical for portfolio construction. We believe that share ownership is no different. Manifest intelligently navigates the complexities of global governance and voting delivering actionable and defensible stewardship insights.

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Japan – governance code compliance strengthens

Compliance with the  Japanese corporate governance code of 2015 shows strong compliance according to research published by the  Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE).

The Code contains five general principles, 30 principles, and 38 supplementary principles and like the UK code a “comply or explain”approach has been adopted in respect of how companies comply.… Read the rest

Guidance on stewardship code in Japan published

Japan corporate governance code

Guidance on Stewardship Code for institutional investors in Japan to perform their duties effectively has been published by the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the Generation Foundation as part of its series on Fiduciary Duty in the 21st century.… Read the rest

Japan: sustainability reporting needs improvement

JPIF Headquarters

JPIF has high hopes of sustainability reporting

The Japanese Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) recenlty tweeted about the “excellent” integrated reporting of some of the country’s firms. However, Manifest’s analysis shows that sustainability reporting in Japan is falling short of many investors expectations.… Read the rest

Fujitsu: succession planning the Japanese way

Nozoe Kuniaki, ousted CEO of Tokyo Stock Exchange’s 40th largest company, Fujitsu, this week issued a Court petition in an attempt to clear his name following unfounded accusations of links to organised crime.

At a news conference this week, Nozoe threatened to sue two Fujitsu executives over his departure, which he claims was linked to his attempts to sell Internet service subsidiary Nifty Corp.… Read the rest

Toyota’s woes a symptom of Japanese corporate governance

A recent article from The Economist has highlighted another real-world connection between firm performance and governance structures.

Commenting on the massive accelerator safety recall and how the Toyota management has handled itself, the Economist points out that the problems it faces: “highlight broader failings in Japanese corporate governance that make large companies particularly vulnerable to mishandling a crisis in this way.Read the rest

Japan proposes new governance disclosures

Japan’s Financial Services Agency has announced draft regulations aimed at improving corporate governance disclosures.

With effect from March 31st 2010, companies will be required to disclose a detailed breakdown of individual pay for each executive earning more than ¥100 million ($1.1 million).… Read the rest

Japan turns to overseas investors

Welcome news this week about Japanese corporate governance developments from Washington-DC based Council of Institutional Investors. Jonathan Urick, CII’s international governance policy co-ordiantor met with Makoto Seta and Toshiya Otsu of the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) to discuss their agency’s ongoing efforts to improve corporate governance.… Read the rest

18 Japanese companies disclose AGM voting results

Some 18 Japanese companies are known to have disclosed the results of their 2009 AGMs on their corporate websites, in what is an improvement from two companies on 2008 according to Sumitomo Trust. Japanese regulators are expected to introduce a rule on disclosure of proxy voting results ahead of Japan’s 2010 AGM season.… Read the rest

Shareholders ask for the strangest things….

Japan is famed in the West for many stereotype images, cherry blossom, salary men, overcrowded commuter trains and for those of us in the world of governance, a chaotic proxy season. But back to the commuter crush. Many Japanese women choose to commute in female-only carriages during rush hour to avoid being groped by men. … Read the rest

Japan governance compromise likely

As investors brace themselves for a slew of Japanese AGM meetings (the overwhelming majority of AGMs seem set to be held between 23 and 26 June), a compromise has emerged between the Keidanren (Japan’s business lobby) and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry over proposals to improve corporate governance.… Read the rest