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Japanese companies cannot ignore advance of activist shareholders

Groups need to reshape before the arrival of hostile investors

| Japan
Legendary activist investor T. Boone Pickens in Japan in 1990. Shareholders like him are not as rare any more.

Activist shareholders, often detested by management as "locusts," are a permanent, if controversial, fixture of American and European stock markets.

Japan, the most developed stock market in Asia, has never been completely shielded from activism. But after retreating from Tokyo in the 2008 financial crisis, the activists are back.

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