This blog post at the GMI blog by Nathaniel Parrish Flannery, prompted by the recent boardroom scandal at Japanese company Olympus Corp. (see here and here for details), reports some amazing statistics about corporate governance practices in Japan:
“Overall, the 392 largest Japanese companies have an average level of board independence of only 20%. By contrast, in the U.S. 92% percent of the largest publicly listed companies have majority independent boards. IN JAPAN ONLY 3% OF THE LARGEST PUBLICLY TRADED COMPANIES HAVE MAJORITY INDEPENDENT BOARDS. Sony Corporation stands out- only two of its 15 directors are non-independent. Other well-known companies like Canon, Toyota, Nintendo and Suzuki have more serious board accountability problems; not one of these companies has appointed a single independent director to oversee operations and help protect shareholder value.