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K Line top management forced to defend themselves from irate shareholders again

As has now become tradition in the Japanese summer maritime calendar, for the third straight year top management at Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) have today had to justify their positions.

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), a long term opponent of K Line’s top brass, has once again recommended that shareholders vote against the election of Eizo Murakami, its current chairman, and Yukikazu Myochin, the newly installed president, at the company’s annual general meeting due on June 21.

ISS has argued over the last three years that Tokyo-listed K Line has underperformed when it comes to returns on equity.

In a release today, K Line fought back, arguing the shipping company, Japan’s third largest, had been hit by dire markets but was carrying out fundamental structural reforms centered around the dissolving of charter ship contracts, which should see the company make a financial turnaround next year.

“We once again would like to humbly request that you exercise your voting right based, not only on the formality of ISS voting recommendation that is analyzed by guidelines rather than individual analysis of the reality of our Company’s circumstances, but on the stewardship code and full understanding of our incessant efforts and results to improve performance,” K Line stated.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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