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Corporate Governance in ContextCorporations, States, and Markets in Europe, Japan, and the US$
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Klaus J. Hopt, Eddy Wymeersch, Hideki Kanda, and Harald Baum

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199290703

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199290703.001.0001

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Japanese Perspectives, Autonomous Firms, and the Aesthetic Function of Law

Japanese Perspectives, Autonomous Firms, and the Aesthetic Function of Law

(p.205) Japanese Perspectives, Autonomous Firms, and the Aesthetic Function of Law
Corporate Governance in Context

John O. Haley

Oxford University Press

This chapter comments on the papers presented in this symposium. Several of the authors explicitly refer to corporate governance and legal reforms in Japan as distinctive. This proposition – concession perhaps – is significant, for it forces our attention to what really matters: the identification of the relevant and distinguishing features of the Japanese experience and how they relate to law in the interaction with legal rules, institutions, and processes. It is argued that one of the most distinctive features of Japanese economic life is often overlooked: the autonomous firm. The chapter also questions a basic but unstated premise detected in the papers that deal with corporate governance and legal reform. All at least appear to assume that law matters. However, the significance of company law resides elsewhere.

Keywords:   Japanese firms, corporate governance, legal reform, company law

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