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Activist investors regain their appetite for Japanese stocks

Holdings double since 2015 as calls for change find receptive ears

Managers in Japan are becoming more willing to listen to activist calls for boosting profitability. (Nikkei montage)

NEW YORK/TOKYO -- Investors who press management to unlock value for shareholders have taken a renewed interest in Japan, a once-fruitless market that has become one of the most promising for bargain hunters. 

Activist investors held roughly 3.4 trillion yen ($31.1 billion) worth of Japanese shares at the end of 2019, twice as much from when the corporate governance code was introduced in June 2015, according to data from Nomura Securities.

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