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2012 database of major shareholders and executives


Since 2006, researchers at Hitotsubashi University’s 21st Century COE Program “Normative Evaluation and Social Choice in Contemporary Economic Systems” (COE/RES) and the Center for Economic Institutions (CEI), Institute of Economic Research (IER) have been building a large-scale, long-term database of the major shareholders and executives (directors and corporate auditors) of listed companies in Japan. While CEI has continued this project after 2010, most data of major-shareholder were made available to the public in 2008, at the end of the COE/RES program; the data on executives were made available to the public in 2010 for the 10th anniversary of CEI. These data can be used free of charge by researchers; the current 2012 version adds the results of various extensions and supplementary work.

The COE/RES Program covers two domains: theoretical and empirical research. Between 2002 and 2007, researchers investigated and designed educational initiatives involving institutional design and policy evaluation in modern economic systems—from various perspectives, including welfare economics, social-choice theory, international economics, financial economics, industrial organization, business economics, economics of technology, public economics, and the history of economics. We established a worldwide research base by collaborating with overseas researchers and research institutes to create a network. The database of major shareholders was designed to remain a university asset, even after the COE/RES program and its corporate-systems research were finished.

The Center for Economic Institutions (CEI) at Institute of Economic Research set three themes, “Comparing the Performance (Productivity) of East Asian Companies,” “Research on Family Businesses” (since April 2006), and “Empirical Research on Corporate and Industrial Dynamics” (since April 2008); these themes have advanced various research initiatives. The database of executives was also designed to become a lasting university asset; work on this database has been carried out mainly by the family-business research team. The databases have thus been designed and developed as high-priority research tasks; we will continue to further expand and make use of these databases in the future.

Researchers studying Japanese listed companies can access the corporate-finance database of the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) and the Toyo Keizai Officers Quarterly (Yakuin Shikihou) for a fee; however, no information on major shareholders before the 1970s or executives before the 1980s has yet been stored in a database. Our database is therefore expected to provide an important, lasting foundation for empirical research on Japanese corporate governance and family management, given that it collects and sorts data from the period that is not included in the above-mentioned databases, based on securities reports and related documents. Connecting this database to the commercially available databases mentioned above provides access to information about the major shareholders and executives of all listed companies from 1950 (executives from 1962) to the present.

To provide access to major-shareholder data for 2,108 companies listed before 1980, we gathered and organized the names of major shareholders (listing the top ten), as well as the shareholding and ownership ratios (including individuals, financial institutions, and business corporations) classified by holding entity. For the database of executives, we collected information every two years on all of the directors and corporate auditors of 1,787 companies and 140 banks listed before 1990; the information included each individual’s name, birth date, educational background (university and faculty), year of joining the company, current position, representation rights, career after becoming a director, and job experience before joining the company.

At present, we send database information in response to user requests. In the near future, we hope to design a system that would allow applicants to search and download data freely, with a user ID and password. In preparing for an application form and guidelines for using this database, we have drawn on the website on the corporate database of the Integrated Center for Corporate Archives at Kobe University’s Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration.

We hope that the database we are building will be used by many researchers in the future, enabling the long-term development of empirical research on Japanese companies.

May 24, 2012

Lead professors: Takashi Kurosaki, Center for Economic Institutions
Hiroyuki Okamuro, Graduate School of Economics


We received the following research grants to create the database of major shareholders and executives.

1. Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (Kakenhi) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (Basic Research A) "A Dynamic Analysis of Corporate Governance in Japan and East Asia" (Lead researcher: Professor Yupana Wiwattanakantang, Hitotsubashi University Center for Economic Institutions) 2006-2008.

2. Hitotsubashi University's 21st Century COE Program, "Normative Evaluation and Social Choice in Contemporary Economic Systems" (COE/RES) (Center representative: Kotaro Suzumura, Professor, Hitotsubashi University, Center for Economic Institutions) 2003-2007.

Sources of information and records coverage

1. Created by: Hitotsubashi University's 21st Century COE/RES Program, C2 (Corporate and Technical Systems) team, Center for Economic Institutions; Database development manager: Hiroyuki Okamuro.

2. Sources of information: securities reports of listed companies (collection of the Hitotsubashi University Institute of Innovation Research, supplementing major shareholder and executive information); the Yamaichi Securities "Corporation Yearbook" (Kabushiki Gaisha Nenkan) (information on major shareholders of the 1950s); The Economic Research Association's "Yearbook of Keiretsu Research" (Nempo Keiretsu no Kenkyu) (information on major shareholders between 1961 and 1980).

3. Target companies: We collect information on major shareholders of 2,108 companies listed on the stock exchanges in Japan from 1949 to 1980 and information on executives of 1,787 companies listed from 1962 to 1990 and 140 banks. Target includes some over-the-counter companies.

4. Recording Period: the databases hold information on major shareholders between 1950 and 1980 and information on executives between 1962 and 1989 (collected every two years). However, the recording period varies by company; there are missing values for some companies and years.

5. Content recorded

  • Major shareholder information: name and shareholding ratio, ranked from the top to the 10th place, after companies were listed.
  • Executive information: the following data were included for all directors and corporate auditors, after their companies were listed: name, birth date, educational background (university and faculty), year of joining the company, current position, representation rights, career after taking office, job experience before joining the company.

6. Others

  • Sample data on major shareholders and executives are included below.
  • The data on major shareholders have multiple sources. As the file format varies depending on the data sources used, five samples, corresponding to each format, are shown below. The actual database consists of six files.
  • Since the data on executives follow a unified format, there is only one sample file. The actual database consists of nine company files (excluding banks), classified based on company numbers (securities codes) and a bank file.
  • For data details, please refer to the notes and recorded variables in the files.
  • <Important> A variable definition was changed (2017.6.22): "prefecture" refers to the "address" when the securities report was issued, rather than "birthplace". We apologize for the incorrect definition of this variable; the relevant part of the "recorded variables" sheet has now been corrected.
  • A company number (securities code) has been assigned to each company.

Data sample

The above year is based on the source of input data. It may therefore differ from the year of actual data.

Method of use

1. Eligibility

  1. Faculty, staff, and students of Hitotsubashi University
  2. People outside Hitotsubashi University who engaged in academic research or investigations
  3. Others specifically authorized by the Director of the Center for Economic Institutions

2. Application method and usage procedure

Those who wish to use the databases of major shareholders and executives must agree to comply with the database usage rules, complete the prescribed application form with the necessary information, and send it by post, fax, or email to the Institute of Economic Research, Center for Economic Institutions at Hitotsubashi University. Currently, the Center provides a data file in response to each request; in the near future, it will be possible to log in to the database using a user ID and password issued by the Center. Users will then be able search and download data directly. Guidelines and rules for using the databases of major shareholders and executives, as well as application forms, can be downloaded from the following links:

3. Contact details for application inquiries:

Center for Economic Institutions
Institute of Economic Research,
Hitotsubashi University
2-1 Naka, Kunitachi, Tokyo 186-8603
Phone: 042-580-8352