Japanese firms are beginning to release the topics and agendas of their annual shareholders’ meetings online, before they send them out by mail to investors. The development comes in response to growing calls from international investors.
Some of the key firms that have decided to release online notices in advance this year include Yakult Honsha, a Japanese drinks maker, along with Meitec, a major staffing business.
The usual items that are discussed during Japanese firms’ annual meetings include executive appointments, which require shareholder approval; financial results and projects; and dividends and strategy. Currently the law states that firms operating in Japan must send out the letter at least two weeks before the meeting.
A corporate governance code introduced in 2015 by the Tokyo Stock Exchange and Financial Services Agency urged firms to release the topics of the invitation letter before it was delivered to shareholders, in order to give them more time to consider investing. At that time though, online disclosure was not compulsory.