• The Financial District


Vote counting was not properly carried out for shareholders' meetings at 1,346 firms in Japan, despite the postal delivery of voting forms by deadlines, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank and Mizuho Trust & Banking said Thursday, Mainichi Shimbun.

The findings, affecting about a third of listed companies that held shareholders' meetings between May and July, did not change their outcomes, according to the trust banks which undertook vote-counting for the client firms -- 975 for Sumitomo Mitsui and 371 for Mizuho.

The improper counting stemmed from a long-standing practice. The banks said it is customary to have voting forms delivered by post offices a day earlier than scheduled dates, which would facilitate work to count votes in the months of March, May and June when many companies hold shareholders' meetings.

Japan Stockholders Data Service Co., a company equally held by the trust banks that was in charge of handling voting forms, excluded those that were received on deadline days, treating them as being delivered the next day. Sumitomo Mitsui and Mizuho said separately that vote-counting should have been done based on the day when voting forms were actually received, Kyodo news service also reported.

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