One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A holder of shares in a Japanese company who tries to extort money from it by threatening to cause trouble for executives at a general meeting of the shareholders.
- ‘Many companies are thought to pay bribes to sokaiya to stop them asking questions they don't want to answer.’
- ‘Companies make use of sokaiya to settle many kinds of trouble, to collect underground information, and to suppress common shareholders.’
- ‘Companies also hire a sokaiya to keep other sokaiya and sometimes legitimate shareholders under control.’
- ‘The sokaiya have operated with an eye toward balancing how much money they get versus the penalty they might get.’
- ‘The men were known to be sokaiya, but no company official ever admitted inviting them.’
Japanese, from sōkai ‘general meeting’ + -ya ‘dealer’.
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