A panel of experts under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry called on companies to introduce measures for countering hostile takeover bids in “peacetime” and with shareholders’ consent, according to a report released Friday.

In the report, the panel, chaired by Hideki Kanda, a professor at the University of Tokyo, said Japan needs to establish fair rules concerning corporate acquisitions and that companies should implement “reasonable defense methods to improve their corporate values and avoid excessive countermeasures.”

Following the release of the report, METI, in collaboration with the Justice Ministry, will compile guidelines on corporate defense measures against takeover attempts in May.

The panel stated that firms should disclose their defense measures, such as the issuance of equity warrants, when they are not facing imminent hostile takeover attempts.

Methods introduced by the firms’ boards should be subject to repeal depending on decisions made at general shareholders’ meetings, it added.

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