Journal Article

Corporate governance in Japan: past performance and future prospects

Y Yafeh

in Oxford Review of Economic Policy

Published on behalf of The Oxford Review of Economic Policy Ltd

Volume 16, issue 2, pages 74-84
Published in print June 2000 | ISSN: 0266-903X
Published online June 2000 | e-ISSN: 1460-2121 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxrep/16.2.74
Corporate governance in Japan: past performance and future prospects

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Much has been written about the Japanese 'model' of corporate governance. Indeed, Japanese-style corporate governance has been described as an efficient alternative to corporate governance mechanisms available in the West, and as a model for developing economies. As opposed to American-style corporate governance, in which hostile takeovers and managerial incentive schemes play a major role, Japanese firms have traditionally relied on monitoring by large shareholders and banks. This article describes the evolution of corporate governance in Japan since the Second World War, and surveys the empirical evidence on its performance. Although there is substantial evidence on the effectiveness of the Japanese system, there is also evidence on its significant shortcomings. The article also evaluates the effects of the current macroeconomic and banking crises on corporate governance in Japan, and suggests possible directions for future changes, which are likely to make Japan more similar to the USA in this respect.

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Subjects: Economic Development and Growth ; Public Economics ; Political Economy ; Public Policy

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