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The pandemic, investing sustainably and corporate governance in Japan + US

June 30, 2020 @ 4:30 pm

Investing Sustainability and Corporate Governance in Japan and the U.S. during COVID-19 pandemic

The pandemic, investing sustainably and corporate governance in Japan and the US: Is Covid-19 an unlikely accelerator?

Please join a truly stellar line-up of panelists, each bringing a uniquely expert perspective on the outlook in Japan and the US for sustainability investing, institutional investment and corporate strategy and governance in the COVID-19 era. There will also be opportunity for the audience to engage in this Japan Society, transpacific dialogue.


Topics for discussion include:

  • Is COVID-19 accelerating interest in investing sustainably – using ESG factors (environment, social issues and governance)? Is the pandemic spurring a strategic affirmation of sustainability by Japanese corporates as well as globally? Alternatively, could the pandemic slow, or even derail sustainability’s momentum in corporate C-suites and boardrooms?
  • Sustainability practices go to the heart of quality corporate governance. As we think about COVID-19’s impact, what characteristics are emerging that are unique to Japanese and US corporate governance — and are they really different or very much the same?
  • COVID-19 is one of multiple externalities influencing investment and corporate decision-making. Is a truly positive outcome possible? What are the lessons that we are learning in the investment and corporate sectors as we tr to put COVID-19 into perspective, if not behind us?


Our experts:

Kirsty Jenkinson Photo

Kirsty Jenkinson: Investment director, Sustainable Investment & Stewardship Strategies for the California State Teachers’ Retirement System. CalSTRS is the world’s largest educator-only, public pension fund, with over US$240 billion in assets. Kirsty is a member of senior management who together with the Sacramento pension fund’s board of directors is a recognized leader globally in the advocacy and practice of sustainability decision-making as risk management. She oversees the management of over US$6 billion placed with sustainability and activist managers and manages the fund’s stewardship activities, including corporate engagement and proxy voting as well as outreach with the fund’s stakeholders.


Ken Hokugo Photo

Ken Hokugo: Director of corporate governance and co-head of Hedge Fund Investments at Pension Fund Association, representing US$100 billion in assets of Japanese corporate pension plans. Prior to PFA, Ken was with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp (SMBC) in both Tokyo and New York. He was a member of the Japan FSA Stewardship Code Revision 2020 Council of Experts. He is a director of the Tokyo-based Board of Directors Training Institute. Widely-known for his critical assessment of Japanese corporate governance practices and reforms, Ken has spoken previously to Japan Society audiences.


Arthur Mitchell Photo

Arthur Mitchell: Senior counselor, White & Case, Tokyo; member of the board of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (6th term) and recently nominated as an independent director of Komatsu Ltd. Prior to joining White & Case, Arthur was the general counsel of the Asian Development Bank. In Tokyo, he has been active in promoting further corporate governance reforms in Japan following the adoption and implementation of Japan’s 2014 Stewardship Code and then in 2015, Japan’s Corporate Governance Code.


Our moderator:

Marsha Vande Berg

Marsha J. Vande Berg, member of the board of directors, Japan Society Northern California will moderate. Her recently published articles on sustainability investing and corporate governance can be found here and here at MilkenReview.org.


Date & Time:

Pacific Time (US)  June 30, 4:30 PM
Japan Time   July 1,  8:30 AM



4:30 – 4:33pm: Opening Remark Tracy Gopal | Program co-chair, Japan Society of Northern California & Principal, Third Arrow Strategies

4:35 – 4:40pm:  Kirsty Jenkinson | Investment director, Sustainable Investment & Stewardship Strategies, CalSTRS

4:40 – 4:50pm: Ken Hokugo | Director of corporate governance and co head of Hedge Fund Investments, PFA

4:50 – 4:55pm: Arthur Mitchell | Senior counselor, White and Case and corporate director, Tokyo

4:55 – 5:20pm: Panel Discussion Moderator and panelists
Moderator Marsha J. Vande Berg | Member of the board, Japan Society Northern California

5:20 – 5:30pm: Q&A Panelists and Participant

5:30 pm: Closing remark, Takahide Akiyama | President, Japan Society of Northern California


Register Here Button


How to join?

You will receive the Zoom information and link upon registering!



Japan Society of Norther California Member: $10

Non-Member: $15


The US-Japan relationship is more important than ever, and active grassroots support is key to sustaining the friendship between the United States and Japan. The Japan Society of Northern California sincerely appreciates this financial support from you!



Many thanks for supporting this program!

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June 30, 2020
4:30 pm
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