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“Collection of Successful Case Examples as Appendix to Guidelines on Approaches to Hybrid Virtual Shareholder Meetings” Formulated

February 3, 2021

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) formulated and hereby publishes a Collection of Successful Case Examples as an appendix to the Guidelines on Approaches to Hybrid Virtual Shareholder Meetings (hereinafter referred to as the “guidelines”). This collection is a compilation that presents case examples of leading companies that have successfully conducted shareholder meetings in 2020 and the approaches that they have employed in conducting their meetings, aiming to further encourage the implementation of hybrid virtual shareholder meetings.*

*Note: The term “hybrid virtual shareholder meetings” refers to a form of physically-conducted shareholder meetings with attendance of board members and shareholders in which shareholders who are not physically present at the meetings are able to virtually participate over the internet or through other telecommunications. There are two types of such meetings: “hybrid remote attendance-type” in which participants are eligible to exercise their voting rights, make inquiries, etc. and “hybrid participation-type” in which participants can only observe deliberations, etc.

1. Background

In February 2020, METI published the guidelines, which clearly describe approaches that companies should take in conducting hybrid virtual shareholder meetings, and in particular in addressing legal and practical challenges (Appendix 1).

As companies utilized the guidelines in instituting measures for preventing the expansion of the novel coronavirus disease, in June 2020, 9 listed companies conducted “hybrid remote attendance-type” shareholder meetings and 113 listed companies conducted “hybrid participation-type” shareholder meetings (*1).

Aiming to further encourage the implementation of hybrid virtual shareholder meetings, METI formulated a Collection of Successful Case Examples as an appendix to the guidelines (Appendix 2) based on the current situations of shareholder meetings conducted in 2020, the results of the call for public comments and other elements.

*Note 1:

The data is based on the results of a survey conducted by Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation.

2. Outline of the collection

The collection focuses on key points which companies may cover as points of content in discussing implementation of hybrid virtual shareholder meetings, and then presents case examples of companies which have successfully conducted such meetings, their approaches to operation thereof and other points concerning the respective key points. For example, it explains case examples and other points concerning specific points of content, such as backup measures against communication failures and methods of receiving and responding to inquiries.

METI expects companies to refer to these case examples and other information and advance specific discussions toward implementation of such meetings by taking into full consideration their current situations, demands of shareholders and other elements.

3. Results of the call for public comments

From December 23 (Wed.), 2020, to January 22 (Fri.), 2021, METI opened a call for public comments on the “Draft Collection of Successful Case Examples as an appendix to the Guidelines on Approaches to Hybrid Virtual Shareholder Meetings.”

As a result of the call, METI received comments from 5 individuals and associations. METI highly appreciates the participation of these individuals and associations. For the outline of the major comments that METI received and METI’s approaches to them, see Appendix 3, titled “Results of the Call for Public Comments.”

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