Chairman, Japan Association of Corporate Executives
Monday, June 29, 2015, 12:30 - 14:00
Japanese stocks and earnings are sharply up, the economy is moving along and the yen is down. Feeding into that, corporate governance reform is also finally gaining some traction, with everything from more outside directors on boards to a new stock index, the JPX Nikkei 400, focusing on firms with strong metrics and governance. But wage growth is weak and other structural reforms, again, are over the horizon.
Massive monetary easing and fiscal stimulus were part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s first two planks of his so-called “three arrows” policy to get the nation moving again. In contrast with the structural issues facing Japan, the first two were relatively easy. The final one focusing on structural reforms – the one that will make or break Japan’s growth prospects as the population ages and shrinks – will test the country’s mettle.
Kobayashi, who is chairman of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp., will come to the Club to talk about the nation’s current growth outlook and what needs to be done to improve it, including structural reforms and trade pacts.
He currently sits on Japan’s Council for Industrial Competitiveness and had served as one of the private-sector members of the government’s main policy-making panel, the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy and on the board of Tokyo Electric Power. Kobayashi received his PhD in radiation physics from the University of Tokyo in 1975 and began working at Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation in December 1974.