Japan's bureaucracy isn't known for making public
statements. Scandals ebb and flow, but it usually keeps its
mouth shut until they have passed.
So when the government does speak out, there's normally a
good reason. On August 8, the cabinet office released a
consultation paper warning against poison pills. It argued that
these defensive measures, so de rigueur amongst
flailing domestic enterprises, should stop.
It warned against companies protecting their own interests
too heavily, and worried out loud that doing so may come at the
cost of corporate efficiency. Aside from the rarity of such a
public statement, it was the tone of the white paper that
caught attention: "Defensive measures, aimed at protecting
their own interests could have a negative effect on
productivity and in the long run fail to raise corporate
efficiency." Japan has long been married to the idea of
companies as social institutions....