An overflow crowd of more than 330 attended the 11th Mitsui Life Symposium, “Corporate Governance and Sustainable Performance.” The symposium was held in Keidanren Hall, Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, October 28, 2005. It was jointly sponsored by the Mitsui Life Financial Research Center at Michigan’s Ross School of Business and the Japan Corporate Governance Research Institute, Tokyo.
Opening remarks at the half-day conference were delivered by E. Han Kim (Fred M. Taylor Professor of Business Administration at Ross) and Hiroshi Nishimura (President of Mitsui Life Insurance Company Ltd.) followed by an introduction by Takaaki Wakasugi (Chairman of the Japan Corporate Governance Research Institute). Keynote speeches by Kakutaro Kitashiro (Chairman of IBM Japan and Keizai Doyukai), and Thierry Porté (President and CEO, Shinsei Bank LTD) presented differing views of corporate governance from the different perspectives of different governance styles. A lively panel discussion of corporate governance issues followed. Porté and Kim were joined by Toshiharu Kobayashi (Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the Legal Dept, Toshiba Corporation) and Mitsuo Hida (Executive Officer and General Manager of the Legal Dept, Teijin Group) for the panel discussion moderated by Christina Ahmadjian (Professor, Hitotsubashi University and Director, JCGRI). Participants discussed the aspects, strengths and weaknesses of the varying forms of corporate governance, how investors and shareholders are protected and rewarded, what encourages governance improvements, and how corporate governance practices vary across countries.
Twelve years ago, the first Mitsui Life symposium held in Tokyo also focused on corporate governance. At that time, the topic was a completely new concept in Asia. Although the concept is no longer new, there is still disagreement about what constitutes good corporate practices. This year’s symposium shed more light on the core issues and provided a large forum for discussion.
Pictured here, front row l-r: E.H. Kim, T. Wakasugi, C. Ahmadjian; second row: T. Takahasi, H. Abe, Chairman K. Ishikawa, M. Nakano, President H. Nishimura.
Conference organizers: Christina Ahmadjian, Takaaki Wakasugi, and Mitsui Life Insurance Company, LTD.