Mitsubishi Corporation

Approaches to Corporate Governance
- Mitsubishi Corporation's Corporate Governance System Supporting Sustainable Growth

Basic Policy

Mitsubishi Corporation's corporate philosophy is enshrined in the Three Corporate Principles. Through corporate activities rooted in the principles of fairness and integrity, Mitsubishi Corporation strives to continuously raise corporate value. Mitsubishi Corporation believes that by helping to enrich society, both materially and spiritually, it will also meet the expectations of shareholders, customers and all other stakeholders.
In order to achieve these goals, Mitsubishi Corporation recognizes strengthening corporate governance on an ongoing basis as its important subject concerning management as it is foundation for ensuring sound, transparent and efficient management. Mitsubishi Corporation, based on the Audit & Supervisory Board Member System, is thus working to put in place a corporate governance system that is even more effective. This includes strengthening management supervision through such measures as appointing Outside Directors and Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Members who satisfy the conditions for Independent Directors or Independent Audit & Supervisory Board Members, and establishing advisory bodies to the Board of Directors where the majority of members are Outside Directors and Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Members and other experts from outside Mitsubishi Corporation. At the same time, Mitsubishi Corporation uses the executive officer system etc. for prompt and efficient decision-making and business execution.

Corporate Governance Framework (As of June 23, 2017)

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is responsible for making decision concerning important management issues and overseeing business execution. In-house Directors utilize their rich experience of working within Mitsubishi Corporation and Outside Directors utilize their practical, objective and professional perspectives to ensure appropriate decision-making and management oversight.
The composition of the Board of Directors and the policy and process for appointing nominated Directors are deliberated at the Governance & Compensation Committee, and then decided by the Board of Directors as follows:

Composition of the Board of Directors and the Policy for Appointing Nominated Directors

To ensure Mitsubishi Corporation's decision-making and management oversight are appropriate for a sogo shosha involved in diverse businesses and industries in a wide range of fields, several Directors are appointed from both within and outside Mitsubishi Corporation with the depth of experience and high levels of knowledge and expertise needed for fulfilling their duties.

More specifically, in addition to Chairman of the Board and the President & CEO, Mitsubishi Corporation's in-house Directors are appointed from executive persons responsible for companywide management, Corporate Staff operations, and other areas. Outside Directors are appointed from those who possess a practical perspective of highly experienced officers and those who possess an objective and professional perspective with a deep insight on global developments and socio-economic trends.

In principle, the Board of Directors is an appropriate size for conducting deliberations, with one third or more being made up of Outside Directors.

Process for Appointing Nominated Directors

Based on the above policy, the President & CEO proposes a list of nominated Directors, which is then deliberated at the Governance & Compensation Committee and resolved by the Board of Directors before being presented at the Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders.

Matters Deliberated by the Board of Directors

Matters requiring a resolution by the Board of Directors in accordance with laws and regulations and the Articles of Incorporation and important matters concerning management are resolved by the Board of Directors. In particular, for acquisitions and disposals of shares, equity stakes, and fixed assets, and investments and loans involving loans and guarantees, the Board of Directors sets out monetary threshold standards for each of various type of risks, such as credit risk, market risk and business investment risk (amounts do not exceed 1% of total assets and are set individually depending on the nature of the risk). Investments and loans that exceed this monetary threshold are deliberated and resolved by the Board of Directors.

Furthermore, business execution other than these matters for resolution by the Board of Directors is entrusted to Executive Officers in accordance with the allocation of duties decided by the Board of Directors for prompt and efficient business execution. Business is executed through President, as the Chief Executive Officer, and the Executive Committee (held twice monthly), as a management decision-making body to take responsibility for business execution.

Further, the Board of Directors strives to construct an internal control system for increasing corporate value by conducting appropriate, valid and efficient business execution in conformity with laws, regulations and the Articles of Incorporation. Each year, the Board checks on the implementation of the internal control system and makes ongoing improvements and enhancements.

Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Board of Directors

In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017, Mitsubishi Corporation appointed a third-party evaluation body to undertake the evaluation of the Board of Directors, in order to ensure objectivity and further enhance governance. The outline and the results of the evaluation are as follows.

<Process>

  1. The third-party evaluation body conducted questionnaires and interviews involving all Directors and Audit & Supervisory Board Members.
  2. The report obtained from the third-party evaluation body was discussed in the Governance & Compensation Committee.
  3. Based on the result of discussions in the Governance & Compensation Committee, the Board of Directors analyzed and evaluated the findings.

<Questions>

Structure, operation, agenda items and other related items of the Board of Directors

<Evaluation Results>

  • Mitsubishi Corporation has established a governance structure optimal for its business characteristics, based on the Audit & Supervisory Board system. To do so, the company has taken steps such as incorporating the opinions of Outside Directors and Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Members into management, in conjunction with making use of the Board of Directors' advisory committees. Mitsubishi Corporation has shown a clear commitment to working in earnest to strengthen its corporate governance further.
  • The Board of Directors of Mitsubishi Corporation was evaluated to be appropriate in terms of composition, operation, deliberation and other aspects. The Board of Directors has adequate systems for the exercise of oversight functions and these functions are being realized appropriately.
  • In the Board of Directors evaluation undertaken in the previous fiscal year, the opinion was expressed that to enhance the effectiveness of the Board of Directors even further, it is important to take measures to enhance provision of information to Outside Directors and Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Members, and to take measures to increase opportunities outside the Board of Directors for free exchanges of opinions and communication among Outside Directors and Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Members, and among outsiders and internal management in relation to significant agenda items. Mitsubishi Corporation has made progress on these priorities in the past year. Notably, Mitsubishi Corporation is undertaking extremely effective measures to provide information to Outside Directors and Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Members.
  • The evaluation expressed opinions on specific measures to further enhance the Board of Directors. Specifically, the evaluation suggested upgrading and expanding discussions about management strategies and other important matters by reducing the agenda items of Board of Directors' meetings; further enhancing initial orientations for newly appointed Outside Directors and Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Members and communication with personnel involved in business execution, including executive-level employees; and increasing opportunities for outsiders to monitor the status of dialogue with shareholders and other investors.

Considering the foregoing evaluation results, and as a result of analysis and evaluation in the Governance & Compensation Committee and the Board of Directors, it was confirmed that Mitsubishi Corporation will implement the abovementioned priorities as key measures in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018.

Based on the analysis and evaluations of the Governance & Compensation Committee and the Board of Directors with respect to the issues highlighted by the evaluation results and the opinions and recommendations from Directors and Audit & Supervisory Board Members, Mitsubishi Corporation will implement measures to further enhance the effectiveness of the Board of Directors.

Board of Directors' Advisory Bodies

Governance & Compensation Committee

Since its establishment in 2001, the Governance & Compensation Committee has met around twice a year. While a majority of the members of the Committee are Outside Directors and Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Members and Outside Members, the Committee conducts continuous reviews of corporate governance-related issues at Mitsubishi Corporation and also discusses the remuneration system for Executive Officers, including the policy for setting remuneration and appropriateness of remuneration levels, and monitors operation of this system.

<Main Discussion Themes>

  • Composition of the Board of Directors and Audit & Supervisory Board, policy on appointment of and proposals for appointment of Directors and Audit & Supervisory Board Members
  • Requirements of President and CEO and basic policy on the appointment, proposals for appointment of President and CEO
  • Review of the remuneration system including the policy for setting remuneration and appropriateness of remuneration levels
  • Assessment of operations of the Board of Directors

Furthermore, the President's Performance Evaluation Committee has been established as a subcommittee to the Governance & Compensation Committee, to deliberate the assessment on the President's performance.

<Composition of Committee (*Committee Chairman)> (as of June 23, 2017)

Outside members (5):
  • Hidehiro Konno (Outside Director)
  • Akihiko Nishiyama (Outside Director)
  • Toshiko Oka (Outside Director)
  • Akitaka Saiki (Outside Director)
  • Tadashi Kunihiro (Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Member)

In-house members (3):

  • Ken Kobayashi* (Chairman of the Board)
  • Takehiko Kakiuchi (Member of the Board, President & CEO)
  • Hideyuki Nabeshima (Senior Audit & Supervisory Board Member)

International Advisory Committee

The International Advisory Committee has met annually since its establishment in 2001. Members of the Committee offer proposals and advice from an international standpoint on Mitsubishi Corporation's management and corporate strategies as it develops its business globally. Further, the committee reports on the political and economic conditions of respective regions and exchanges opinions.

<Main discussion themes>

  • The global business environment (political and economic conditions, IT and innovation)
  • Perspectives on “Midterm Corporate Strategy 2018”
  • Internationalization of Mitsubishi Corporation

<Composition of Committee (*Committee Chairman)> (as of June 23, 2017)

Outside members (8):
  • Professor Joseph S Nye (Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor (U.S.A.))
  • Mr. Ratan N Tata (Chairman, Tata Trusts (India))
  • Mr. George Yeo (Chairman of Kerry Logistics Network (Singapore))
  • Mr. Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala II (Chairman and CEO, Ayala Corporation (the Philippines))
  • Mr. Niall FitzGerald (Former CEO & Chairman, Unilever (Ireland))
  • Mr. Richard Armitage (Former Deputy Secretary of State (U.S.A.))
  • Hidehiro Konno (Outside Director)
  • Akitaka Saiki (Outside Director)
In-house members (3):
  • Ken Kobayashi* (Chairman of the Board)
  • Takehiko Kakiuchi (Member of the Board, President & CEO)
  • Eiichi Tanabe (Member of the Board, Senior Executive Vice President)

Audit & Supervisory Board

The Audit & Supervisory Board audits Directors' decision-making process and their performance of duties according to the Companies Act and other laws and regulations, Mitsubishi Corporation's Articles of Incorporation and internal rules and regulations. In-house Audit & Supervisory Board Members conduct audits from a perspective of their rich experience of working within Mitsubishi Corporation, and Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Members from a neutral and objective perspective, to ensure that management is sound.
The composition of the Audit & Supervisory Board and the policy and procedure for appointment of nominated Audit & Supervisory Board Members are deliberated by the Governance & Compensation Committee, and then, decided by the Board of Directors as follows:

Composition of the Audit & Supervisory Board and the Policy for Appointing Nominated Audit & Supervisory Board Members

To ensure Mitsubishi Corporation's sound business development and improve its social credibility through audits, several Audit & Supervisory Board Members are appointed from within and outside Mitsubishi Corporation with the depth of experience and high level of expertise needed for conducting audits.

More specifically, in-house Audit & Supervisory Board Members are appointed from those with knowledge and experience in corporate management, finance, accounting, risk management, or other areas. Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Members are appointed from those with rich knowledge and experience across various fields.

In principle, the total number of Audit & Supervisory Board Members is 5, with more than half their number being made up of Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Members.

Process for Appointment of Nominated Audit & Supervisory Board Members

Based on the above policy, the President & CEO consults with Senior Audit & Supervisory Board Member and creates a proposal for appointment of nominated Audit & Supervisory Board Members, which is then deliberated by the Governance & Compensation Committee and approved by the Audit & Supervisory Board before being resolved by the Board of Directors and presented at the Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders.

Provision of Information to Directors and Audit & Supervisory Board Members and Support System

To ensure that the Directors and Audit & Supervisory Board Members are able to perform their management supervision and audit functions adequately, the Board of Directors' Office and the Audit & Supervisory Board Members' Office have been established, and have been providing necessary information and support appropriately and in a timely manner for them to perform their duties.
For Outside Directors and Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Members, the Board of Directors' Office and the Audit & Supervisory Board Members' Office provide Board of Directors' meeting materials and explanations as well as hold joint presentations about management strategies, important matters, and other topics before the Board of Directors' meetings to ensure that they can participate in the discussion fully. The offices also provide an orientation to newly appointed Outside Directors and Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Members, as well as ongoing opportunities to increase their understanding of the businesses and strategies of Mitsubishi Corporation, including annual observation tours of subsidiaries and affiliates and opportunities for dialogue with the management. Furthermore, to enhance the effectiveness of the management supervision function, Mitsubishi Corporation holds meetings of the Governance & Compensation Committee, the President's Performance Evaluation Committee, and other bodies comprising a majority of Outside Directors and Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Members in their memberships. Also, Mitsubishi Corporation endeavors to enhance close cooperation among Outside Directors and Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Members through such measures as holding small meetings for Outside Directors and Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Members approximately four times a year to provide opportunities for free discussion about a wide range of themes relating to the business management and the corporate governance of Mitsubishi Corporation.

<Small Meetings for Outside Directors and Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Members>

Mitsubishi Corporation endeavors to enhance close cooperation among Outside Directors and Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Members by providing opportunities approximately four times a year for free discussion about a wide range of themes relating to the business management and the corporate governance of Mitsubishi Corporation.

In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017, Mitsubishi Corporation held meetings for the exchange of opinions on themes such as corporate governance, and foreign relations and international conditions. The company also organized dialogue sessions attended by guest experts.

<Observation Tours of Subsidiaries and Affiliates>

For further understanding of the Mitsubishi Corporation Group's wide range of business lines, Outside Directors and Audit & Supervisory Board Members participate in observation tours of the sites of Mitsubishi Corporation Group companies and other sites, which are conducted every year.

In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017, Mitsubishi Corporation organized an observation tour of the “Lawson Seminar”, a forum for Lawson, Inc. to share information about its management policies and measures with its franchised store owners. Lawson, Inc. became a consolidated subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation in the fiscal year ended March 2017. The company also held an observation tour of a refrigerated product delivery center operated by Mitsubishi Shokuhin Co., Ltd. for Lawson, Inc. In addition, a vigorous exchange of opinions was held with the managers of Lawson, Inc. and Seijo Ishii Co., Ltd. , a wholly owned subsidiary of Lawson, Inc., as well as the management owners of the franchised stores of Lawson, Inc.

<On-site Audits of Subsidiaries, Affiliates and Other Sites>

As part of audits conducted by the Audit & Supervisory Board Members, Mitsubishi Corporation organizes visits of subsidiaries, affiliates and other sites by the Audit & Supervisory Board Members, allowing them to exchange opinions with regional chiefs, managers of subsidiaries and affiliates, and local employees.

Selection Criteria for Outside Directors and Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Members

To make the function of Outside Directors and Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Members stronger and more transparent, Mitsubishi Corporation has set forth Selection Criteria for Outside Directors and Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Members as follows, after deliberation by the Governance & Compensation Committee, which is composed with a majority of Outside Directors, Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Members and Outside Members.

<Selection Criteria for Outside Directors>

  1. Outside Directors are elected from among those individuals who have an eye for practicality founded on a wealth of experience as corporate executive officers, as well as an objective and specialist viewpoint based on extensive insight regarding global conditions and social and economic trends. Through their diverse perspectives, Outside Directors help ensure levels of decision-making and management oversight appropriate to the Board of Directors.
  2. To enable Outside Directors to fulfill their appointed task, attention is given to maintain their independency*; individuals incapable of preserving this independency in effect will not be selected to serve as Outside Directors.
  3. Mitsubishi Corporation's operations span a broad range of business domains; hence there may be cases of conflict of interest stemming from business relationships with firms home to a corporate executive officer appointed as Outside Directors. Mitsubishi Corporation appropriately copes with this potential issue through the procedural exclusion of the director in question from matters related to the conflict of interest, and by preserving a variety of viewpoints through the selection of numerous Outside Directors.

<Selection Criteria for Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Members>

  1. Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Members are selected from among individuals who possess wealth of knowledge and experience across various fields that is helpful in performing audits. Neutral and objective auditing, in turn, will ensure sound management.
  2. To enable Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Members to fulfill their appointed task, attention is given to maintain their independency*; individuals incapable of preserving this independency will not be selected to serve as Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Members.

(Note) Independency for the purpose of Selection Criteria for Outside Directors and Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Members

To make a judgment of independence, Mitsubishi Corporation checks if the person concerned meets the conditions for independent directors and independent auditors as specified by stock exchanges in Japan such as the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc., and whether the person concerned is currently any of the following items (1) to (7) and whether they have been at any time in the past 3 fiscal years.

  1. (1) A major shareholder of Mitsubishi Corporation (a person or entity directly or indirectly holding 10% or more of the voting rights), or a member of business personnel of such shareholder (*1).
  2. (2) A member of business personnel of a creditor of Mitsubishi Corporation exceeding the threshold set by Mitsubishi Corporation (*2).
  3. (3) A member of business personnel of a supplier or a customer of Mitsubishi Corporation exceeding the threshold set by Mitsubishi Corporation (*3).
  4. (4) A provider of professional services, such as a consultant, lawyer, or certified public accountant, receiving cash or other financial benefits from Mitsubishi Corporation, other than directors' or audit & supervisory board members ' remuneration, where the amount exceeds ¥10 million per fiscal year.
  5. (5) A representative or partner of Mitsubishi Corporation's independent auditor.
  6. (6) A person belonging to an organization that has received donations exceeding a certain amount (*4) from Mitsubishi Corporation.
  7. (7) A person who has been appointed as an Outside Director or Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Member of Mitsubishi Corporation for more than 8 years.
  1. *1 A member of business personnel refers to a managing director, corporate officer, executive officer, or other employee of a company.
  2. *2 Creditors exceeding the threshold set by Mitsubishi Corporation refer to creditors to whom Mitsubishi Corporation owes an amount exceeding 2% of Mitsubishi Corporation's consolidated total assets.
  3. *3 Suppliers or customers exceeding the threshold set by Mitsubishi Corporation refer to suppliers or customers whose transactions with Mitsubishi Corporation exceed 2% of Mitsubishi Corporation's consolidated revenues.
  4. *4 Donations exceeding a certain amount refer to donations of more than ¥20 million per fiscal year.

If a person is still judged to be effectively independent despite one or more of the above items (1) to (7) applying, Mitsubishi Corporation will explain and disclose the reason at the time of their appointment as an Outside Director or Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Members.

PAGE TOP