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World's largest pension fund should create safe space for ESG dissent

Environmental, social objectives politicize investment and depress returns

| Japan
A signboard of Government Pension Investment Fund outside the entrance of the entity in Tokyo: GPIF's official pronouncements on ESG have been toned down. (Photo by Takuya Ikeda)

Stephen Givens is a corporate lawyer based in Tokyo.

Global asset manager BlackRock CEO Larry Fink's most recent annual letter was, as usual, heavy in rhetoric cheerleading "stakeholder capitalism" and corporate commitments to "sustainable" environmental, social and governance (ESG) objectives.

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