Toshiba’s Inflammatory Report May Finally Change Corporate Japan

Toshiba’s Inflammatory Report May Finally Change Corporate Japan

As the four noted, the report’s detailed exposure of wrongdoing makes an especially painful contrast with Toshiba’s original internal investigation of the matter — a whitewash that has been made to look like a masterclass in the sidelining of shareholder interests and contempt for corporate governance. The investigation, which only happened because shareholders forced it upon the company, is damning in a way that Japanese reports rarely are: dishonesty, subterfuge and hypocrisy emerge as the culprit where normally incompetence, groupthink and unquestioning hierarchical structures are blamed. In an unprecedented move, four Toshiba board members released a statement describing the report as “surprising, disappointing and, in some areas, deeply disturbing”. For all this, the report is a document whose blast radius depends on the beholder. For those who see its findings as specific to one extraordinary corporate situation, and who already thought that Toshiba was an irredeemable governance horror story, the air is dense with smoking guns. To those who have long suspected that METI is predisposed to interference and even conspiracy, it does little to allay concerns that the ministry would act similarly with other Japanese companies if it felt the need. It is not hard to imagine Carlos Ghosn, who has long alleged that METI is among the conspiracists precipitating his 2018 arrest, using this report to fortify that conviction.

The villain-rich document eviscerates a collaboration between the government and Toshiba management in which both parties seem to view vocal and activist shareholders as a foe. Toshiba’s 2020 AGM, it concludes, was not fairly run. The collusion was focused on leaning on particular large shareholders to change their opposition to a knife-edge AGM vote on which Kurumatani’s survival hinged. One executive, it alleges, called on the trade ministry to “beat up” large activist shareholders on its behalf. Another highlighted the way in which foreign funds were “scared” of the Japanese authorities and implied this could be weaponised against them. Beyond that, the really awkward question is whether the past six years of sloganeering and apparent reform, during which Japan has sought to convince the world of its commitment to governance and stewardship, have been the sham that pessimists always feared it was beneath the superficial signs of progress.

The report suggests that certain METI officials believed that leverage over foreign activists was available through the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act — a law whose revision in 2019 the FT warned could have that effect. A subsequent letter to the FT from the vice minister of finance for international affairs reassured readers that activists are welcome to engage with Japanese companies to increase corporate value. Perhaps the thorniest challenge in the 147-page report on Toshiba published last week by an independent panel of investigators looking into last year’s annual shareholder meeting, is working out who comes off worst. The choice includes Toshiba’s management, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the superstar former investment head of Japan’s $1.6tn pension fund Hiromichi Mizuno, potentially Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and, critically, Japan’s global image as an investment destination. Nobuaki Kurumatani, who resigned as Toshiba’s chief executive in April, probably edges it.

Source www.ft.com leo.lewis@ft.com

That conclusion, for all of its negativity, may ultimately be a useful thing if, as one of Toshiba’s largest shareholders said, the report and its inflammatory nature now becomes the catalyst for real change. The risk around Toshiba’s long stretch of misery, which began with an accounting scandal in 2015 and brought the company to the brink of collapse a few years later, has always been that it would be treated as an eye-popping outlier rather than as sitting on the same poor governance spectrum as much of corporate Japan. But again the strong temptation is to view the whole affair as revealing of a broader truth: that the fundamental attitudes of corporate Japan, and the government officials most directly engaged with it, have in a great many cases budged only minimally in the direction of greater care for shareholders.

The News Highlights

  • Toshiba’s Inflammatory Report May Finally Change Corporate Japan
  • Check the latest News news updates and information about business, finance and more.
Disclaimer: If you need to edit or update this news from compsmag then kindly contact us Learn more

For Latest News Follow us on Google News


Latest Headlines
  • Show all
  • Trending News
  • Popular By week
Boost Your Home Security With This Amazon Eufy Security Products Sale
Boost Your Home Security With This Amazon Eufy Security Products Sale
Keep in mind that this price is good today only, as it is part of the Gold Box Deal of the Day. And it will expire at midnight PST tonight. Today, Amazon is ...
End of extra unemployment benefit and hiring companies |  The business
Norfolk Southern’s second quarter earnings double as volume returns
A year ago, the number of shipments the railroad delivered fell 26% as the restrictions designed to slow the spread of the virus slowed the economy to a ...
Biden to Launch Vaccine Campaign for Millions of Federal Workers
Biden to Launch Vaccine Campaign for Millions of Federal Workers
Biden has placed the blame for the resurgence of the virus squarely on the shoulders of those who aren’t vaccinated. “The pandemic we have now is a pandemic ...
Quanterix Corporation to Release Second Quarter 2021 Financial Results on August 5, 2021
Quanterix Corporation to Release Second Quarter 2021 Financial Results on August 5, 2021
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “may,” ...
Hearts of Iron 4 multiplayer Gets Filled With Hackers
Hearts of Iron 4 multiplayer Gets Filled With Hackers
A post yesterday by user SelfHatingTurk on the Hearts of Iron IV subreddit raised concerns over this issue, however there is a post on the official Paradox ...
Waco Hospitals Requiring COVID-19 Vaccination for Employees |  local news
Waco Hospitals Requiring COVID-19 Vaccination for Employees | local news
All Baylor Scott & White employees, providers, volunteers, vendors, students and contract staff have to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 1, ...
More Michigan Health Systems Demand COVID-19 Vaccination of Employees |  News, Sports, Jobs
More Michigan Health Systems Demand COVID-19 Vaccination of Employees | News, Sports, Jobs
Employees and providers who do not meet exemptions and refuse to get vaccinated will initially be suspended and those who “choose not to be vaccinated will no ...
How to skip through TikTok videos on iPhone and Android Devices
How to skip through TikTok videos on iPhone and Android Devices
How do I skip through TikTok videos on iPhone and Android? skip through TikTok videos You can’t really go anywhere at the moment without hearing about ...
Apple is considering requiring employees to be vaccinated before returning to work
Apple is considering requiring employees to be vaccinated before returning to work
apple park drone june 2018 2 Cook reportedly told Lipton that Apple is primarily focusing on when to have employees return, but the company is “monitoring ...
Dr. Mario World to shut down on iOS and Android Phones
Dr. Mario World to shut down on iOS and Android Phones
Nintendo has announced that Dr. Mario World’s game service will end at 06:00 UTC on November 1, 2021, roughly two and half years after the game launched. A ...
Show next
Compsmag - Latest News from tech, business and health
Logo