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Japan’s Corporate Backseat DriversMori Kazuo

It has been common in Japan for retired executives to remain at their companies in loosely defined advisory roles. And some continue to exert influence on management. This distinctively Japanese practice is now under critical scrutiny.

Manufacturing Problem Suspected as Cause of Shinkansen Crack (News)

Osaka, Feb. 28 (Jiji Press)--Inappropriate manufacturing work is the suspected cause of a crack found in the undercarriage of a Shinkansen bullet train during its operation last December, West Japan Railway Co. said Wednesday. Undercarriage maker Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. shaved the surface of undercarriage frames at some spots during the manufacturing process. On these spots, the steel wa…

Excessive Quality Standards Behind Scandals—Business Expert (News)

Tokyo, Dec. 25 (Jiji Press)—Excessive quality standards from the product design stage are behind inspection data manipulation scandals at Kobe Steel Ltd. and other companies, says business management expert Nakazawa Takao. "Designers draw up immaculate product plans, hoping to attain perfection to an unnecessary extent," said the Fukuyama University professor well versed in small business manag…

Toray Unit Falsified Tire Material Quality Data (News)

Tokyo, Nov. 28 (Jiji Press)—Major Japanese textile maker Toray Industries Inc. said Tuesday it has found that a wholly owned subsidiary manipulated quality data for tire materials and other products supplied to 13 client companies, in the latest blow to the credibility of Japan's manufacturing industry. Quality control managers of Toray Hybrid Cord Inc., based in Nishio, Aichi Prefecture, tampe…

Product Data Tampering Found at Mitsubishi Materials Units (News)

Tokyo, Nov. 23 (Jiji Press)—Mitsubishi Materials Corp. said Thursday that two subsidiaries have falsified product quality data and shipped products that did not satisfy internal and client requirements. The two subsidiaries of the major Japanese nonferrous metal producer are Mitsubishi Cable Industries Ltd. and Mitsubishi Shindoh Co. Of Mitsubishi Cable's clients, 229 companies were affected…

Business Circle Worried about Corporate Japan’s Damage from Fake Data Crisis (News)

Tokyo, Oct. 19 (Jiji Press)—Japanese business leaders have voiced their strong concerns that falsified product quality certification by Kobe Steel Ltd. and Nissan Motor Co. will undermine global trust in made-in-Japan goods. "I think Kobe Steel has crossed the forbidden line as a manufacturer," Mimura Akio, chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told a press conference. "It's r…

Aluminum, Copper Inspection Data Falsified at Kobe Steel (News)

Tokyo, Oct. 8 (Jiji Press)—Kobe Steel Ltd. said Sunday that data in certificates of inspection for some of its aluminum and copper products have been falsified, leading to shipments of products that did not conform with specifications agreed with client companies. A total of more than 20,000 tons of such nonconforming metals, including for use for parts and components of automobiles, aircraft a…

Corporate Adviser System in Japan under Scrutiny (News)

Tokyo, June 22 (Jiji Press)—It is not unusual for former presidents or chief executive officers of Japanese businesses to assume the roles of advisers or consultants instead of leaving the companies completely. But the standard practice is causing concern in the government and also attracting shareholder criticism, as management decisions may be swayed by former corporate leaders in advisory p…

Japan-US-Korea Team Named Toshiba Unit Preferential Bidder (News)

Tokyo, June 21 (Jiji Press)—Toshiba Corp. decided at a board meeting on Wednesday to grant a Japan-US-Korea consortium the preferential right to negotiate for its flash memory unit, Toshiba Memory Corp. The struggling Japanese electronics and machinery maker said it aims to conclude a contract with the consortium before a general meeting of Toshiba's shareholders on June 28 and complete the uni…

Change Brewing in the Boardroom: A Proxy Adviser Assesses Corporate Governance in JapanTakenaka Harukata

Proxy advisers are a new phenomenon in Japan, where companies are only now beginning to treat shareholder interests as a serious priority. In an exclusive interview, Executive Director Ishida Takeyuki of Institutional Shareholder Services in Japan offers his unique perspective on the reforms that are slowly but surely changing the face of corporate governance in Japan.

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