Corporate Governance in Japan and Increased Globalization

This seminar focuses on corporate governance in Japan in a time of increased globalization. Topics include: the relationships between Japanese legal or social institutions and foreign investors; the effects of increased globalization on employment and operations of corporations; the role of banks in Japanese corporate governance; the treatment of minorities - are reforms needed; the national characteristics in corporate governance in Japan.

Japanese corporate governance is built on four features: lifetime employment, a central bank system, government involvement, and insider boards. The seminar first explores the academic debate on how these features relate to each other, and then proceeds to analyze the change in each feature. The seminar will cover the sharp distinction in corporate governance between the shareholder economies of the Anglo-American countries and a stakeholder economy in Japan. Unlike the Anglo-American system, the stakeholder system features debt financing, concentrated shareholders, and tightly interconnected networks among firms, their trading partners, and financial institutions. Japan is a particularly suitable setting for research on the confrontation between these two stylized systems, because the Japanese system contrasts sharply with the Anglo-American system, and the influence of foreign investors increased dramatically since the 1990s. In response to the pressure of increased globalization of financial markets and entry of foreign capital, Japanese regulators aimed to reform its corporate governance system.

Seminar materials will be provided (in English translation as needed).

The seminar is consisted mainly of lectures. Students will have the opportunity to make short presentations on topics of their interest and expertise at their request. Students are required to submit a research paper relating to the seminar topics. Active session participation is an integral part of this seminar and will be expected of every student. The final grade will be based on session attendance, participation in discussion, a presentation, and a research paper (minimum 30 pages, typewritten, and double-spaced).
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