As Japan stocks were on the rise, the head of the Japan Exchange Group, which owns the Tokyo Stock Exchange, visited London, Europe's financial capital, to address investors and call for more investment in Japan stocks.
Hiroki Yamamichi, CEO of Japan Exchange Group, visited London's Citi financial district for the first time in four years as the head of the group and spoke to approximately 4 investors on the 29th.
In his speech, CEO Yamamichi said, "There are many things happening in Japan that may indicate that we are at a crossroads of change."
Specifically, she explained that the Tokyo Stock Exchange has been requiring companies to manage with an awareness of stock prices, and that the government has set a target of increasing the ratio of female executives of TSE Prime listed companies to 160% or more by 2030.
He then called for more investment in Japan stocks, saying, "There are many challenges in the Japan economy, but there is more potential in Japan than it seems, and as an exchange, we will convey that the stock market in Japan is an attractive place."
The Nikkei Stock Average has been on an upward trend since April, and this month it hit its highest level since March 30 during the bubble period.
The main reason for this is that overseas investors bought shares of Japan companies.
CEO Yamamichi: "I really feel that Japan is highly interested"
After the lecture Japan CEO Yamamichi of the Exchange Group said in an interview with NHK, "The biggest takeaway was that I was able to realize that Japan is highly interested in many investors in London, which is the world's financial center."
He also expressed the view that factors leading to a rise in stock prices had never overlapped in this way, such as significant progress in management reforms that focus on the stock prices of Japan companies, the growth of capital investment at a pace approaching a record high, and the expansion of the base of individual investors due to the introduction of the NISA tax incentive.
"Until now, there have been many negative comments about Japan-bashing and Japan, but overseas investors are beginning to want to know more about Japan and learn more Japan. I expressed my expectation.
He also stated that "management reforms that lead to an increase in stock prices are not complete, and we must continue to aim higher," and emphasized that corporate managers should continue to work to improve business performance and raise employee wages.
Foreign investors who participated in the lecture
Investors who participated in a lecture by the head of the Japan Exchange Group praised the fact that the rise in Japan stock prices was due to the fact that Japan companies were making various efforts to improve stock prices, such as allocating retained earnings to capital investment and dividends, and disclosing information.
A man in charge of equity research at a London investment firm said, "There are clear changes in dividend increases, share buybacks, corporate governance reforms, etc., and Japan companies seem to be at a tipping point," while "In general, I think Japan people are very modest compared to Chinese and Americans. If corporate PR activities are improved, it will be a great opportunity for investors to feel attracted to Japan."
In addition, a bank asset manager said, "I am very excited about the future of Japan because various positive stories are moving all at once," and said that he was interested in the reform movements of Japan firms.
In addition, some pointed out that the interest of large U.S. investors in the Japan market triggered their interest in Japan stocks, and others pointed out that the expected depreciation of the yen for the time being due to monetary easing in Japan was also a factor in buying more stocks Japan
In addition, a representative of the asset management company said, "Tightening monetary policy globally inevitably leads to the flow of funds to Japan firms," and expressed the view that the continued global interest rate hikes were pushing up stocks Japan which was pushing stocks higher.
On the other hand, a man at an investment company that focuses on stocks of small and medium-sized enterprises said, "Japan companies need to increase transparency, outside directors must be independent, and corporate governance = corporate governance is not yet clear in Japan," and ordered that the system for monitoring corporate management should be improved.
Former editor-in-chief of The Economist: "Japan's assets look cheap with a weaker yen"
Bill Emmott, former editor-in-chief of The Economist, an economic magazine known as a pro-Japan group, who spoke with Yamamichi, CEO of Japan Exchange Group, told NHK, "The biggest reason for the rise in Japan stocks is that Japan stocks look very cheap to overseas investors Japan.
"What we are paying attention to now is whether Japan investors, following overseas investors, will start investing in stocks from savings," he said, expressing the view that whether stock prices continue to rise depends on the trends of individual investors in Japan.
"Japan is facing a shortage of workers, rising wages, shortages of raw materials to import, and rising prices, and Japan households and firms are in an inflationary situation rather than deflationary," Emmott said, suggesting that Japan investors may invest in stocks rather than losing cash due to inflation.
"The Japan economy will see it rise again if it can increase productivity and harness technologies such as AI, biotechnology and the energy transition, which is still unpredictable today, but I am waiting to see it," Emmott said.