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Cover Corporation is a Japanese media company managing content creators which is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange as of March 27, 2023. They held a shareholder meeting at June 29th, 2023. It was announced ahead of the event that those who could participate in the offline meeting would be selected by a raffle.

Page 6 of the PDF linked above:

会場へご来場希望の株主様の事前申込方法 当日の総会における本総会会場へのご入場に関しましては、感染症対策として座席 数に限りを設けている関係上、事前申込・抽選制とさせていただきます。ご来場希望 の株主様は、下記のURLより予約サイトへ接続いただき、画面表示に従って必要事項 を入力しログインしてください。事前申込をされていない株主様、落選となった株主 様はご入場いただくことができませんので、あらかじめご了承ください。 なお、当日ご出席の株主様へのお土産のご用意はございません。何卒ご理解ください ますようお願い申し上げます。

How to apply in advance for shareholders who wish to visit the venue Regarding admission to the venue of this general meeting at the general meeting on the day of the meeting, seats will be seated as a measure against infectious diseases. Due to the limited number, advance application and lottery will be required. Request to visit Shareholders of the Company must connect to the reservation site from the URL below and follow the instructions on the screen. Enter to log in. Shareholders who have not applied in advance or who have failed the election Please note that you will not be able to enter. There will be no souvenirs available for shareholders attending on the day. Thank you for your understanding Thank you.

Isn't it a duty of a public company to accommodate every shareholder to a shareholder meeting who is willing to exercise their rights? Can companies just get away with excluding a bunch of people by using COVID-19 as an excuse? They did hold virtual meetings for others, but the practice seems shady. They could theoretically cherry pick desirable people and lock unwanted dissent behind screens.

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    note that this would be ruled entirely under Japanese law - which is quite different from US law, and even the german laws that inspired a lot of the original canon.
    – Trish
    Jul 30, 2023 at 20:59
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    Japanese shareholders' meetings are unusual. For example, 96% take place on the same day in an attempt to make it harder for professional disrupters (sokaiya) to attend more than one. This may be part of the same thing.
    – Henry
    Jul 31, 2023 at 15:52

1 Answer 1

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Hybrid meetings are allowed in Japan

Isn't it a duty of a public company to accommodate every shareholder to a shareholder meeting who is willing to exercise their rights?

No it is the duty of the company to comply with the law.

Can companies just get away with excluding a bunch of people by using COVID-19 as an excuse?

To the extent that the law allows, yes.

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