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From Editor
Does the company exist for stockholders interested only in money?

12, 05. 2005

   When I had stayed in India as a Japanese newspaper's foreign correspondent, it seemed that the weekly magazines sent from Japan were quite boring for me. I did not have that kind of feeling toward the daily newspapers from Japan. Why was that?

   Japanese weekly magazines are full of domestic topics. Detailed information is closely packed in it. This is Japanese or Asian hospitality. Readers are not satisfied without it. Japanese manufacturers are eager to satisfy consumers with their products. That is actually what Japanese consumers want. No other countries have such various kinds and every kind of products like Japan. Japanese stores are flooded with those products. Magazines are filled with articles on these products.
   Among detailed topics, we can see many scandals that ordinary newspapers do not carry, especially the topics of the entertainment world. But, we cannot comprehend these subjects without watching TV. First off, these topics are all related to the people who regularly appear on TV. As I lived in India, I did not find any value in the information that is understandable only in Japan.
   As we send business information from Japan where information and service is abundant, I tend to think over the gap of tacit agreements, which exists between senders and receivers of news. The gap could be dissolved with communication. We would like to ask you to send us E-mail and let us know what you want to read and what information you want to get. We will try to respond you as much as we can.
   In Tokyo now, people are focusing on Japanese stocks mainly for two reasons. How far will the prices of the stocks go up? Isn't it another bubble? This is the one side. The other is the status of stockholders and the claim that " the company belongs to stockholders", which bidders of the hostile takeover insist. It can be said so in legal aspect. The new corporate law that will be enacted next year strengthens that point. But, in Japanese corporate culture the hostile takeover does not go well. Mergers and acquisition (M&A) continues to fail in Japan. In this environment, the trade error at Tokyo Stock Exchange occurred. Mizuho Securities that made an order error got an enormous loss. There are some companies and individuals that got tremendous profits in only one or two minutes. There was a fuss on the Internet board over the trade error.
   " Does the company really exist for stockholders who are interested only in money?"
   Company managers who stress Japanese corporate culture might have deepened that kind of thinking.

Publisher
Masao Ninagawa

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