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NTT DoCoMo Inc., Nissan Motor Co. and NEC Corp. were among firms that held general shareholders’ meetings Thursday, ahead of a slew of such meetings June 27.

NTT DoCoMo apologized to shareholders for booking 320 billion yen in losses on overseas investments in the year that ended March 31, its second such loss in as many years.

A number of NEC shareholders expressed dissatisfaction with the company’s decision not to pay a dividend. The electronics firm stayed in the red in fiscal 2002 for the second consecutive year.

In contrast, Nissan, which chalked up record group operating and net profits in 2002, told shareholders it will pay an annual dividend of 14 yen per share, up from 8 yen for 2001.

The automaker also said it plans to raise the payment to 19 yen for the current year.

The three companies also disclosed figures on the salaries of board members.

NTT DoCoMo paid a combined 481 million yen to its 27 board members in the 2002 business year, an average of 17.81 million yen per head.

NEC’s 19 board members received 320 million yen for an average of 16.84 million yen a head.

Nissan’s nine directors got a whopping 1.315 billion yen — averaging 146.11 million yen each.

According to the Tokyo Stock Exchange, 68.1 percent of all TSE-listed companies that closed their books in March, or 1,174 companies, plan to hold shareholders’ meetings June 27.

Although the percentage has fallen for the eighth consecutive year, companies still tend to hold the meetings on the same day in June, the TSE said.

The practice was adopted in an effort to prevent “sokaiya” — corporate extortionists who hold a few shares in a company — from disrupting meetings.

Countering ‘sokaiya’

The National Police Agency said Thursday that 4,920 police officers will provide security at 1,670 company shareholders’ meetings June 27.

The firms requested the security.

According to the latest NPA count, about 1,820 companies will be holding shareholders’ meetings that day, 210 fewer than last year.

Shareholders’ meetings are often associated with the activities of “sokaiya” corporate extortionists.

Such racketeers have nominal stockholdings in firms in order to attend the annual meetings. Some attempt to squeeze money from firms by intimidating company executives or threatening to reveal embarrassing information, while others are paid by firms to suppress shareholders who raise awkward questions.

The number of shareholders’ meetings held on the same day peaked in 1997 at about 2,350 and has been on a decline ever since.

The NPA said 199 sokaiya attended the meetings last year, 30 less than the previous year.

The number of known sokaiya has also shrunk, according to the NPA, to about 420 as of the end of last year. The number is just a quarter of what it was in 1983, a year after a tougher corporate code went into effect.

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