Determinants of the value of acquired firms were further examined by analyzing the effect of corporate governance and other characteristics of Japanese and US acquirers on the long-term performance of their US targets during period when both US and Japanese economies experienced superior and poor performances. Bidder–target relationship in general and the role of unique Japanese characteristics (keiretsu, cross-holding, ties to a main bank, negligible shareholding, latitude and long-term focus of managers) were studied. The debate whether unique characteristics of the Japanese governance system make it more efficient than market based one in the US, or lead to greater agency problem, developed in the early 1990s following the slowdown in the US and boom in the Japanese economy. In this study better managed bidders, regardless of country of origin, with more resources were found to positively affect the performance of smaller targets in related industries. The mixed results for the Japanese governance variables, predicted positive for the main bank and unexpected negative for the keiretsu and cross-holding, do not allow a clear-cut answer as to which governance system is dominant.