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Mike Smitka Quoted in The Street

Mike Smitka, professor of economics, was quoted by the business website, The Street, Aug. 20 in a story about foreign investors’ trust in Japanese companies in the wake of a Toshiba Corp. accounting scandal. The article notes Japan’s “tight-knit, slow-to-adapt corporate culture” has been resistant in the past to accept reforms to boost international investor confidence.

The Street asked Smitka if the replacement of Toshiba’s board and the inclusion of seven outsiders signals a new direction for both the company and Japanese corporate culture.

He said that the quick departure of Toshiba’s top executives means “that the state of corporate governance in Japan is good, at least in formal terms.” Smitka said the company’s action was “prompt, both internal and external. There may be other cases that will pop up, but I don’t think is the tip of the iceberg. A lot of heads have rolled, the fraud was much more fundamental.” Smitka specializes not only in Japan, but also in the economics of the automobile industry. He holds a bachelor’s degree in East Asian studies from Harvard and a doctorate in economics from Yale.

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