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The Fundamental Nature of Corporations and Capitalism (2007-10)

Active Years: 2007-2010

The tide of globalization that began in the 1990s has shaken the foundations of the Japanese-style economic system born during the era of rapid economic growth. In reacting to these changes, observers tend to advocate either returning to the past or adapting to the prevailing global standards; but with companies adopting an increasingly diverse range of management structures, there is no simple prescription that will suit all cases. The Fundamental Nature of Corporations and Capitalism project generates basic theories for designing the rules that regulate a company’s economic activities, including corporate and labor law and accounting standards. Based on these theories, we propose concrete revisions to the system.

During 2008 we proposed amendments to the Company Law and the Financial Instruments and Exchange Law in the hope of bringing an end to the confusion surrounding Japanese mergers and acquisitions law. We have continued to publicize our proposals through direct approaches to government, contributions to the media, and publication of articles and a book. We also reviewed the Building Standards Law. Approval procedures for construction plans were tightened following a scandal in 2005 involving the falsification of earthquake resistance data. The new requirements have prompted a dramatic downturn in the number of new construction projects, in what has been described as a “government-made slump.” Focusing on the knowledge gap between suppliers of buildings and the general public, we proposed amendments to the Building Standards Law designed to improve the quality of Japanese housing stock. Our proposals won widespread attention in the media and were presented before an advisory committee at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism. Our next focus will be employment law. The ultimate aim of our activities is to produce a comprehensive vision for a new Japanese-style economic system.



Project manager(s):

  • Sato, Takahiro (–2012)

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