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This seminar is available to watch at: (English) (Japanese)


A Webinar Series on: 

“A New Concept of the Corporation”

Part 1 of this series was held on:

Tuesday, 16 March 2021

17:00 – 18:00 JST | 09:00 – 10:00 CET


Hideaki Miyajima (Waseda University and RIETI)

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The Purpose of the Corporation and Its Implication for Law and Business in Japan 

Over the last few years, and particularly since the onset of COVID-19, the purpose of the corporation has been the subject of active debate.  In place of shareholder value maximization, new definitions of corporate purpose have been proposed, and their implications for law, regulation, ownership, governance, measurement and performance of business have been much discussed.  

On the occasion of the publication of the Japanese translation of Colin Mayer’s book “Prosperity: Better Business Makes the Greater Good” in March 2021, RIETI, WBF and ECGI came together to organise a webinar series on the new concept of the corporation, the EU/UK experience and its lessons for Japanese corporate governance reforms.

The audience was a mixture of academics, policy makers (METI/RIETI), market participants and business executives/ IR practitioners.



English/Japanese (simultaneous interpretation)


Future Episodes in this Series:

Part 2: The Redesign of Company Law, and The Duties of Directors

  • New concept of the corporation
  • Multi vs single purpose debates 
  • European/UK experience on the purpose of firms
  • UK CG code revision in 2018, motivation and consequences
  • Implication of the new concept of corporation for Japan:
    • the design of corporate law and interpretation of the duties of care of directors
    • reconsidering the conventional stakeholder model in Japan

Part 3: Ownership of the New Corporation: The Role of Activist Funds 

  • Parallel ownership of long-term shareholders and portfolio investors
  • Different forms of ownership around the world
  • Who are the candidates for long-term owners in Japan?
  • EU (EY) report on short-termism
  • Experience of UK and EU of activism 
  • Possible role of activist funds in Japan

Part 4: The Role of Institutional Investors   

  • The parallel ownership of long-term shareholders and portfolio investors.
  • The EU/UK experience of institutional investors, the role of activist funds
  • Regulation of ownership /collective actions
  • Implications for Japan:
    • Who are the candidates for long-term ownership in Japan?
    • Regulation of collective actions.

Part 5: The Purpose of the Corporation and How to Realize its Purpose

  • The concept of purpose
  • How to realize the purpose of firms
  • EU/UK experience on the new purpose of corporations
  • The Future of the Corporation project of the British Academy
  • Implication of EU/UK experience for Japan 
  • Current status of Japanese corporations



The Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) is a policy think tank established in 2001. Its mission is to conduct theoretical and empirical research, maximize synergies with those engaged in policymaking, and to make policy proposals based on evidence derived from such research activities. 

About WBF

The Waseda University Institute for Business and Finance offers various education activities and programs designed for cultivating management professionals who can lead the next generation, together with Waseda Business School, a leading business school in Japan and Asia accredited by both AACSB and EQUIS.

About ECGI

The European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) is global research network and international scientific non-profit association providing a forum for debate and dialogue between academics, legislators and practitioners, focusing on major corporate governance and stewardship issues. 


Supported by


Tuesday 16 March 17:00 (JST) / 09:00 (CET)

Introduction by Hideaki Miyajima


Concluding Remarks by Hideaki Miyajima


Colin Mayer

Emeritus Professor of Management Studies
Blavatnik School of Government and Saïd Business School, University of Oxford
Fellow, Research Member


Elaine McPartlan
European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
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