Holding Company and Bank: An Historical Comparative Perspective on Corporate Governance in Japan, subsequently published in "Seoul Journal of Economics", 2004, vol.17-3. )



In this paper I describe the outline of the historical evolution of corporate governance in Japan, and intend to derive some insights on its future. While two alternative systems, the holding company-based system and the bank-based system were available in the 1920s, the former started to proliferate. However, the experiences during the Second World War made the corporate system choose the other fork in the road, the bank-based system. The changes in employment system and production management were complementary with the changes in corporate governance and finance. The Japanese corporate system, which was faced with a bifurcation in the 1920s and the 1930s, is now facing another bifurcation.