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Japan considers dropping quarterly earnings, but faces resistance

Critics say it encourages short-termism, advocates say it provides crucial data

Earnings statements are posted at the Tokyo Stock Exchange's media center. (Photo by Taro Yokosawa)

TOKYO -- The Japanese government will begin discussions on dropping the requirement that listed companies be required to issue quarterly earnings reports because they encourage short-term profit seeking, but defenders of the practice are expected to put up a stiff fight, saying they serve the interests of investors.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida promised to look at the issue when he fought to become head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, saying in a key policy speech on Friday that ending the practice will let companies "conduct business for the benefit not just of shareholders, but employees and business partners as well."

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