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The Tokyo Stock Exchange's demand for "concrete action" plans pressures Japanese companies trading below book value. (Source photo by Kyodo)
Market Spotlight

Japanese companies embrace shareholder activism as never before

Low valuations coupled with rising payouts attract global investors

MITSURU OBE, Nikkei Asia chief business news correspondent | Japan

TOKYO -- On March 9, analysts from securities companies and investment firms eagerly awaited the appearance of Yoshinari Kitajima, president of Japan's largest printer, Dai Nippon Printing, to brief them on its medium-term business plan.

This rather deceptively normal occurrence was a special moment in the company's 146-year history, as its past presidents had never attended earnings calls or business plan announcements.

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