With more market players taking into consideration the environmental and social impact of their investment decisions, Tokyo Stock Exchange Inc. and its parent company made available a handbook to assist listed firms identify, track and disclose their ethical credentials.

Investing while taking environmental, social and corporate governance standards into account, widely referred to as ESG investing, has become more prevalent in Japan in recent years as issues like climate change and human rights abuses prove to be both opportunities and risk factors for publicly listed companies.

"Although many companies were aware that they must work on ESG information disclosures, they had trouble finding where specifically to begin," said Makoto Miki, secretary general of the sustainability committee at the Japan Exchange Group Inc.