Japan Today: Winds of Change: Will Tax Reform and Global Uncertainty Help or Hurt M&A?

November 13, 2018

Scott Sugino, an O’Melveny partner in the Tokyo office and vice-chair of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ), was one of five legal experts asked to comment on the market in 2018 and factors that could impact activity in 2019. Sugino cited changes in Japan as having a significant effect on M&A.

Referencing the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, Sugino observed that, “Japan has tried to be a steady hand in protecting the global trading system through its leadership in pushing through TPP11.”

Moreover, Sugino said, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “general support for improved corporate governance in Japan, and more emphasis on shareholder return is making corporate Japan a more attractive place for global capital. Many listed companies in Japan now have a large US institutional shareholder base.” However, he added that M&A in Japan by US companies is still rare: “Policy that encourages Japanese companies to divest non-core assets and continue to improve return on equity could lead to more inbound investment by U.S. companies.”

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