ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Companies

Ex-Keidanren chief Sakakibara tapped for Kansai Electric chairman

Scandal-hit utility looks to restore governance with big-name hire

Former Keidanren Chairman Sadayuki Sakakibara speaks to reporters at the Ministry of Finance in Tokyo. (Photo by Wataru Ito)

OSAKA -- Scandal-tainted Kansai Electric Power has approached Sadayuki Sakakibara, a former head of materials group Toray and Japan's top business lobby, as a candidate for chairman, Nikkei has learned.

The Osaka-area utility seeks an outsider to lead a governance overhaul after revelations that top executives received gifts including gold coins from a local power broker connected with nuclear power plant projects.

The 76-year-old Sakakibara is one of the most recognized faces in corporate Japan. A chemist by training, he rose through the ranks at Toray, the world's top supplier of carbon fiber for making lightweight planes and cars.

After Nissan Motor's management was upended by the arrest of Carlos Ghosn, Sakakibara was called to sit on a panel that proposed governance reforms at the automaker.

Toray's key role in Japan's manufacturing industry helped Sakakibara become the choice to lead the Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren, in 2014 even though high-tech materials were not among Japan's traditional top industries of steel, autos and electronics.

He served as Keidanren chairman until 2018.

Kansai Electric Chairman Makoto Yagi resigned last October, the month after the long-running gifts came to light.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends July 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media