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Legal ruling makes Japanese companies harder to acquire

Tokyo Kikai Seisakusho case creates open-ended precedent without anchor

| Japan
The logo of Tokyo Kikai Seisakusho, pictured on Oct. 21: the new rule gives boards of target companies a formidable defensive shield.   © Reuters

Stephen Givens is a corporate lawyer based in Tokyo.

When the Tokyo District Court upheld last month the Tokyo Kikai Seisakusho board's exclusion of a 40% shareholder from voting at a shareholder meeting, it created a precedent that not only lacks any anchoring in law but is also dangerously open-ended.

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