(Bloomberg) -- Japanese companies received a record number of shareholder proposals from institutional investors for this year’s annual general meeting season, reflecting rising activism in the country.

A total of 45 companies received proposals as of June 7, according to data compiled by Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank. The proposals range from sketching out a plan to boost valuations and selling down cross shareholdings to requiring management to meet investors when requested.

 

 

More than 2,100 companies, or about 98% of listed firms whose financial year ends in March, are due to hold their AGMs during the coming two weeks, according to the Tokyo Stock Exchange. 

The peak is on June 27, when 650 firms hold their meeting, mostly physically, though some have an online or hybrid format. 

Japan’s Jammed AGM Season Helps Companies Dodge Tough Questions

Although activists are typically voted down, support from other investors may increase this year. Some Japanese asset managers have said they will support proposals that they think will help to boost corporate value.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange launched a campaign this year to encourage companies to come up with plans to boost their stock market valuation. That has put pressure on management to pay more attention to investors’ opinion.

Below are some of proposals made by activist investors:

  • Toyota Motor: Kapitalforeningen MP Invest proposed the company issue a comprehensive report annually on the automaker’s climate-related lobbying activities.
  • Keisei Electric Railway: Palliser Capital proposed the railway firm publish a capital allocation plan and reduce its holding of Oriental Land Co shares to less than 15% of voting rights by March 2026.
  • Toyo Suisan Kaisha: Nihon Global Growth Partners Management made several proposals related to dividend payments, share buybacks and disclosure of plans to improve capital efficiency.

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