Corporate Governance Reform, Social Norms and Sustainability in Japanese Companies
In Beate Sjåfjell and Christopher M. Bruner (eds), Cambridge Handbook of Corporate Law, Corporate Governance and Sustainability (Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming).
Posted: 15 May 2019
Date Written: May 6, 2019
This chapter explores how corporate sustainability has been addressed in Japan. The Japanese companies’ awareness of the environment has been high, especially since the 1990s, promoted by the government’s various policies. However, all these policies are non-statutory, while the traditional corporate law theory has been reluctant to acknowledge corporate social responsibility (as the issue has traditionally been known). More recent reform of corporate governance, facilitated through the implementation of the Corporate Governance Code and Stewardship Code, acknowledges the significance of sustainability and environmental, social and governance risks. This is despite the fact that the primary focus of the reform has been on the shift to the shareholder primacy idea, departing from the traditional stakeholder-oriented corporate governance of Japanese companies. With these complexities, it is anticipated that corporate sustainability will become a commonly acknowledged issue of corporate governance in Japan in the coming years.
Keywords: environment-aware activities, ESG investment, corporate social responsibility, stewardship
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