The ‘lost decade’ of economic stagnation in Japan during the 1990s has become a ‘found decade’ for regulatory and institutional reform. Nowhere is this more evident than in corporate law. In 2005, for example, a spate of reforms to the Commercial Code culminated in the new Company Act, a statute promising greater organisational flexibility and shareholder empowerment for Japanese corporations competing in a more globalised economy. But does this new law herald a more ‘Americanised’ system of corporate governance? Has Japan embraced shareholder primacy over its traditional loyalty to other key stakeholders such as ‘main banks’, core employees, and partners within diffuse corporate (keiretsu) groups? This book argues that a more complex ‘gradual transformation’ is unfolding in Japan – a process evident in many other post-industrial economies.
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Alice de Jonge
Using detailed case studies of the first nine mainland Chinese companies to be listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, this book examines the evolution of corporate governance law and culture in China’s H-share market. A story emerges not of tensions between ideas of corporate governance from two different legal systems – Hong Kong vs mainland Chinese – nor about legal convergence as China adopts concepts from Anglo-American jurisdictions. Rather, it is a story of individual firms being pragmatic in mediating the different agendas of state-agencies that own or control them.