About JSI

Message from the Representative

Dr. Tetsuo Kitagawa
Emeritus Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University
Professor, Tokyo Metropolitan University

The level of dialogue with investee companies by institutional investors has been improving year by year. This can be clearly seen by observing the changes in the stewardship reports issued by each company on a regular basis and in their proxy voting policy. It is clear that they are approaching dialogue after careful and deep analysis of companies they are investing in.

Additionally, the quality of information disclosure by companies has also improved remarkably. The recent revision of the Japanese version of the Stewardship Code (March 2020) has reaffirmed the importance of co-creative relationships between companies and institutional investors in order to improve long-term corporate value creation.

The advancement of such relationships in the investment chain must be effectively communicated to asset owners, and this is a key objective of the establishment of JSI. We are confident that the knowledge of how institutional investors are thinking and interacting with their portfolio companies will greatly stimulate the entire investment chain.

Message from the Steering Committee Chair

Emi Onozuka
COO, Japan Catalyst, Inc.

In November 2019, JSI was officially launched with the understanding and encouragement of many people involved in the investment chain. Pre-JSI’s activities began in 2018 with volunteers from investment management companies. I felt that the establishment of JSI was the moment when we stepped forward as the first step for the asset management industry to achieve a great leap forward in the future. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to our members and all those who have supported us.

Stewardship responsibility is the responsibility to increase investment returns over the medium to long term through activities such as constructive dialogue, and the outcome of this responsibility is greatly influenced by the aspirations and skills of the asset owners and asset managers who are in a position to carry out this responsibility, as well as the leadership and strategies for overcoming challenges by the investee companies that can be called as asset creators. Stewardship activities have significance not only pursuant of financial performance but creating values through dealing with non-financial matters including ESG.

Through JSI’s activities, I hope that we can work together to create a sustainable society that is unique to Japan and to contribute to the sophistication of asset management industry.

Background and Purpose of Establishment

In the past few years companies across the entire investment chain, including asset owners, asset managers and investee companies, have been called upon to enhance and deepen their stewardship activities. This has been encouraged by recommendations from the Japan Stewardship Code, introduced in 2014, the Corporate Governance Code, introduced in 2015, and later on The Council of Experts Concerning the Follow-up of Japan’s Stewardship Code and Japan’s Corporate Governance Code and the Council of Experts on the Stewardship Code.

In this context, the Japan Stewardship Initiative (JSI) held its first full meeting on November 26, 2019, and officially announced its launch. The aim of JSI is to encourage free and wide-ranging discussions between asset owners, asset managers and other related parties on practical issues to do with stewardship activities, and through jointly considering the right way to address these issues and sharing best practices, create a place where the outcomes of those discussions can be beneficial to everyone in the industry.

Key Facts

Japan Stewardship Initiative (JSI)

November 26, 2019

Dr. Tetsuo Kitagawa, Emeritus Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University/Professor, Tokyo Metropolitan University

Steering Committee:
Steering Committee Chair
Emi Onozuka, COO, Japan Catalyst, Inc.

Steering Committee Member Firms and Experts
Asset Management One Co., Ltd.
BlackRock Japan Co., Ltd.
Goldman Sachs Asset Management Co., Ltd.
Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation
Nomura Asset Management Co., Ltd.
Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Company, Limited
The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited
Dr. Tetsuo Kitagawa, Emeritus Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University/Professor, Tokyo Metropolitan University
Mr. Yuki Kimura, Representative Director, Japan Stewardship Forum
Mr. Shin Yabe, Researcher, Research Institute for Policies on Pension & Aging

Working Group
Smart Format Working Group
Asset Owner Working Group

54 Organizations, 3 Experts and Several Supporting Members
As of January 25, 2022

Financial Services Agency
Japan Business Association (Keidanren)
International Corporate Governance Network

Japan Exchange Group, Inc.
ICJ, Inc.

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