About 100 companies in Japan this year will allow or consider allowing shareholders to use the Internet to vote in place of mailing in ballots or attending meetings, according to surveys conducted by trust banks.

Under the revised Commercial Code that went into effect in April, companies can now accept online voting from shareholders who find find it difficult to attend a meeting.

Among companies that have already decided to conduct Internet polling are Takashimaya Co., DoubleClick Japan Inc. and NEC Soft Ltd.

Those considering the step are Sony Corp., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Hitachi Ltd., NEC Corp. and KDDI Corp.

Officials at NEC Soft said that less than 30 percent of its shareholders vote every year. The company decided to open online voting because about 80 percent of their shareholders own personal computers.

NEC Soft is also planning to notify shareholders of meetings via the Internet to save on postage and other costs.

Shareholders who wish to vote online will be given special codes and passwords and will be able to alter votes until the day before the meeting.

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