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  • Brent Scowcroft Examines Foreign Policy Challenges Facing the Obama Administration: Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    relationships with other countries in the region and its nuclear ambitions The U S has troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan and how Iran behaves will have a lot to do with the future in both So we ought to be talking with them not to try to achieve a perfect harmony of views but to reconcile each other over Iraq which is sort of the halfway land between a Persian culture to the east and a Shia form of Islam and an Arab culture to the south and the west and basically a Sunni religion If Iran continues the production of enriched uranium it is the impact on neighboring countries that will be most significant he said Almost certainly in self defense the Egyptians the Saudis and the Turks at least will feel compelled to do the same thing And soon we may have many countries a couple of months away from a nuclear weapon so that is not a better world On a conflict with Iran we can destroy much of their nuclear capability but that s only a temporary fix What s important is that Iran is concerned about world opinion If we can get the Europeans the United States the Japanese the Russians and the Chinese in a solid front saying Don t do this We will help you but we will help you in a way which does not provoke a reaction from other countries there s a chance we might make it On the Middle East peace process the General said he is cautiously optimistic that the U S will be able to present a potential accord to the two parties and to say in essence we think this is a just and equitable solution and we think you ought to negotiate on that basis On North Korea the specifics of the transition in power from Kim Jong Il to his son remain mysterious but the fact that China is now fully engaged in the Six Party Talks is progress since the Six Party Talks are still the best hope for all of us in dealing with this situation Finally General Scowcroft observed Americans take the relationship with Japan for granted but they ought not to The U S Japan Security treaty in fact is more important now than it was during the Cold War because it not only expresses the solidarity between the two of us but it also represents a statement about the U S military presence in Asia For as long as the U S is a presence there then it gives freedom for the countries of Asia to make their own way not under outside pressure I think we need to make the U S Japan relationship more visible he concluded Japan is a master of rapid transit and we could cooperate there to shrink for example the three hours it now takes to travel by train from Washington to New York On the broader question of energy conservation and

    Original URL path: http://japansociety.org/page/multimedia/articles/brent_scowcroft_examines_foreign_policy_challenges_facing_the_obama_administration (2016-02-14)
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  • Industrial Structure Vision: The Way Forward for Japanese Industry: Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    R D headquarters to Japan Added support for small and medium sized enterprises in Japan will aid their entry into the overseas market The new growth strategy adopted by the Kan cabinet expresses a commitment to end deflation Mr Yanase continued The target nominal growth rate is set at 3 percent with real growth at 2 percent and a return of consumer prices to positive territory in fiscal year 2011 The strategy emphasizes green innovation health care innovation and enhanced business with other countries in Asia as well as tourism science and technology human resources and financial services Green innovation will expand renewable energy from 5 to 10 percent adopt stringent energy conservation regulation regarding automobiles houses and buildings and speed up the development of environmental technologies such as carbon capture and storage Health care innovation will involve deregulation IT tools faster licensing of new drugs and medical devices and the development of robots to assist in nursing care and expanding medical tourism A renewed focus on business with Asia will include the promotion of FTAs agricultural reform creative exports such as fashion and music and expanded export of high speed railway nuclear power and water systems Haneda Airport will become a 24 hour international airport open sky policies will draw in more flights and cargo and special economic zones tax incentives and expedited visas and green cards will attract foreign businesses to Japan To improve the quality of human resources the cabinet s new growth strategy makes a commitment to drastically reform the child care system in order to raise the labor participation of women A National Vocational Qualification system or NVQ will be introduced as a key to the liquidity of the labor market The number of foreign students studying in Japan will be doubled to 300 000 while the number of Japanese studying abroad will be quadrupled again to 300 000 Gains in financial services will be achieved through new disclosure rules that allow broader use of English by foreign companies corporate law changes to facilitate M A transactions and strengthen corporate governance and reduced corporate tax rates that by 2013 will bring Japanese rates to a level comparable with other major countries In sum the new growth strategy includes a commitment to end deflation lower the corporate tax rate reform childcare to bring more women into the workforce and maintain an open Japan through agricultural reforms relaxed immigration policies and incentives for foreign business Above all Mr Yanase concluded the Kan cabinet will issue a formal decision on road maps with concrete measures and definite timetables Q A from the audience followed How will the government shift from deflation to a kind of inflation target which is really challenging to accomplish The Bank of Japan has taken a very aggressive financial policy recently but is still short of the inflation target Mr Yanase responded On the economic policy side the Kan administration is committed to using deregulation and budget reallocation to strengthen the economy and build

    Original URL path: http://japansociety.org/page/multimedia/articles/industrial_structure_vision_the_way_forward_for_japanese_industry (2016-02-14)
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  • U.S. Health Care Reform: What Employers Need to Know: Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    health insurance coverage for employees but not necessarily for dependents If we don t cover dependents what do we need to do to wages to help make up some of the difference for our employees and what does that do to our competitive position in the marketplace We have seen the timeline I guarantee it s going to change said John Kosciusko an independent health care consultant A small example if you are looking at changing your plan right now you have to change it for the new mental health parity rules but if you change it will ruin your grandfathered status if you are looking at staying in grandfathered status How to stay ahead of this I think one of the things we are going to have to do that we didn t do as much in the past is reach across the entire organization Mr Kosciusko said The discussion must include benefits communications internal compliance or legal payroll finance tax and the C suite as well as carriers and third party administrators Health care reform is more like dodge ball than golf he remarked HHS the Department of Labor and the Treasury Department are the opposing team trying to take you out with a ball If they hit you you re out The company needs to have its own team you can t do it alone To start Mr Kosciusko recommended that companies set up an online collaboration workspace and a core team of three A facilitator for example the VP of HR a benefits manager or an external resource who is responsible for working out a schedule of milestones and decision points A subject matter expert who will keep current on legislation and regulations and how they re being interpreted and will serve as a resource when departments throughout the company have questions on how the new rules affect their responsibilities and A data manager who will maintain the collaboration site keep the minutes and chart the progress of the entire process and record decisions and the rationale an especially important task for U S companies dealing with foreign headquarters A key early step is to get data on how many employees and dependents will be affected by the changes in the law the ages of the dependents and the number of hours each employee works he explained Part timers are counted on a full time equivalent basis In theory employers need to gather data on their employees household income in order to figure out their potential free rider assessments and free choice voucher payments Because of privacy laws and other considerations however companies may decide that in practice it s more burdensome to seek and maintain this information than to simply pay the penalties as they arise Employees must be given notice of plan changes at least 60 days in advance which can have a big impact on planning for marketing and open enrollment periods Continuous feedback loops are going to be extremely important Mr Kosciusko said I think one of the worst things that can happen in a team situation with something this complex is that if you get one or two dominant individuals who really want to run the process or really want to make this if you will their baby not a good thing A facilitator is certainly there to encourage debate and discussion If someone doesn t understand an issue guaranteed two or three other people in the room don t understand the issue as well I work for a large municipal employee union in New York City What are some of the implications for collective bargaining agreements Union plans are exempt from the grandfather rules until 2014 but even before then issues may arise where salaried employees benefits are linked to benefits under the collective bargaining agreements Mr Kosciusko replied Issues concerning retiree plans will arise early as well At some point there should be a health exchange in the city and that may be available to union members It will also be important to analyze the penalties and vouchers that we have discussed Mr Minken commented Clearly collectively bargained plans will need to be in compliance with health care reform But I think the important thing to do is to understand collaborate and collaborate with the city in that regard Note that the answers to this question as well as the other questions below reflect the individual speakers own point of view What will be the impact of the new legislation on costs for plan sponsors In the short term health care cost increases are not likely to be reined in and coverage expansion may serve to increase costs somewhat though by exactly how much is very very difficult to say Mr Minken replied Rising costs will have an impact on how employers might use the state exchanges to their benefit when they come into play in 2014 and also on how quickly you might get to the Cadillac plan tax that goes into effect in 2018 The legislation does have several provisions that are intended to lower medical costs through wellness initiatives Mr Kosciusko noted There are a number of provisions in the legislation that impact insurance companies that impact payers and providers that may serve to help drive down costs somewhat over time Mr Minken said Insurance companies will pay fees of 11 to 14 billion a year to the government and pharma companies fees of 2 to 4 billion which will adjust for inflation after 2018 Mr Kosciusko pointed out Does anybody know where that money is going to come from It s going to come from anybody who is buying insurance or pharma How are the wellness initiatives going to be structured and how will this actually play out Lower cost gym memberships and so on have been around forever A well regarded DuPont study shows wellness programs lead to a significant decrease in employer costs Mr Kosciusko said If you have a large long tenured

    Original URL path: http://japansociety.org/page/multimedia/articles/us_health_care_reform_what_employers_need_to_know (2016-02-14)
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  • United States Senator Daniel Inouye Addresses Japan Society: Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    best disciplined the best behaved ones on the Potomac or on the Mall in Washington DC I don t think we would tolerate their presence for 60 years no matter how friendly they are And in the same way I think Americans should realize that a large presence a large footprint of Americans in Japan may not necessarily be in their best interest I think the Japanese should begin to consider building up their defense forces working out joint arrangements he reflected This may restore some national self confidence that years of having occupying forces in the country may have eroded And I realize that serious changes must be made such as possible amendment of the Japanese Constitution but I think there are ways of bringing about this change without having to go through this drastic step But that s how serious I think it is Presider Doug Peterson of Citi asked the first questions In recent months there has been proof that the North Koreans torpedoed a South Korean warship What are your thoughts on the North Korea situation and the overall balance of power in the region I look upon this as a deliberate testing of the relationship between Japan and the U S Senator Inouye replied They want to see what our reaction would be It s not just an attack on South Korea We have had similar activities from China I think these events should be looked upon with great seriousness because they can be dangerous Could you comment on Hawaii s selection as host of the 2011 APEC Summit and on the growth and trade potential of the Pacific Rim Hawaii was selected because it s in the Pacific if anything to emphasize that we are a Pacific nation not just European Senator Inouye said As Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee I m well aware of changes in our military makeup Some are subtle but all are done with the intent that others may look upon it and get a message That there are now more carriers in the Pacific than the Atlantic may not mean much to you but to the military that s a load of a difference The audience joined in the Q A All indications are that prices of goods manufactured in China are going to escalate very quickly Will this bring back a manufacturing culture to the U S Given China s ability to control its output and cost numbers to an extent some of the decisions that have been made by the Chinese have been well thought out and delivered Senator Inouye commented And if you re a corporate head in the U S or Japan it is not easy to say no to a bargain The 2008 Olympics in Beijing were China s grand opportunity to have the world stage to demonstrate their power and greatness Their show was not easy to duplicate They showed much effort much technology and you can

    Original URL path: http://japansociety.org/page/multimedia/articles/united_states_senator_daniel_inouye_addresses_japan_society (2016-02-14)
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  • Senator Daniel K. Inouye Japan Society Speech: Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    as they grapple with the disparity of election rhetoric versus governing realities In Japan this means the new party in power the Democratic Party of Japan is seeking to augment its base of power through control of the Upper House following a tumultuous start In the U S Congress and elsewhere the majority party s goal is to maintain gains accomplished in the last election A second development also frames the current situation we face in U S Japan relations the global economic crisis In the U S a few months ago a dangerous high in unemployment was reached the highest rate in 26 years 10 2 percent Furthermore each day approximately 14 000 men women and children are losing their health coverage as employers reduce their payrolls This statistical high while staggering and dangerous is merely a numeric representation which we assign a value to quantify something we measure It cannot truly convey the real world impact I witnessed when I visited Detroit a few months ago a city that used to be the center of American industry Today the population of Detroit is less than one half of what it was five years ago and the City of Detroit is experiencing an unemployment rate of 26 percent one of the highest in the nation During my short visit I was taken on a tour of the city It was startling to see the numbers of empty business buildings and boarded up homes In a sense it was frightening I realize that this may be an extreme example but this is the extent of pain certain parts of the U S are experiencing I have been told that places in Japan are experiencing similar statistics History has shown us if we are not careful during periods of economic crisis political industrial and social leaders will make bombastic statements issue veiled threats and propose ill conceived ideas that can have great moral physical and emotional repercussions From the first two events the elections and economy which have occurred in the U S and Japan and influence our bilateral relations we arrive at the third Statements were made over the last eight months that could have been misunderstood with troubling consequences For example the name of a place Futenma appeared on the front pages of Japanese newspapers Here in the United States people are just beginning to hear and inquire about this place called Futenma located off in a far corner of the world on an island called Okinawa As most are now aware Futenma is one of many provisions in the Security Agreement with Japan borne from the 2 2 Meetings of the U S Japan Security Consultative Committee Much time and discussion have been spent to date months and months of discussion on the matter of relocating Futenma Air Base Since the decision to minimize the American military presence in Okinawa we have begun to pursue and implement provisions in the agreement to prepare Guam for the relocation of

    Original URL path: http://japansociety.org/page/multimedia/articles/senator_daniel_k_inouye_japan_society_speech (2016-02-14)
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  • Minimizing Legal & Compliance Risks: Strategies for Multinational Financial Services Firms Operating in the U.S.: Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    procedures in the event of actual or threatened litigation whereby normal record destruction policies are suspended and records are retained Insider information is a critical topic for compliance programs in any industry So are Foreign Corrupt Practices Act issues which are being prosecuted at a dramatically higher rate Again recordkeeping and internal controls in this area are very critical Immigration A corporate immigration policy is an essential part of a compliance program Bob Groban of Epstein Becker Green said The policy has to define respective responsibilities of the company and the employee It has to be administered in an even handed manner that avoids issues of discrimination It must ensure that the company is filing Form I 9s and hiring only those who are eligible to work in the U S under the specific circumstances in question It has to ensure compliance with state laws as well as federal law A case called Lionbridge illustrates what can happen when immigration policies are not handled with meticulous care Mr Groban said Lionbridge was a company that had started out sponsoring a foreign national but things did not go well And as a result the foreign national was forced to leave the country She sued the company and won The jury rendered a 1 3 million verdict These very difficult situations could have been avoided if the company had an immigration policy that preserved its employment at will relationship and made clear who was going to pay for things and what the relative rights and responsibilities are if it defined when a company would proceed and under what circumstances and more importantly what discretion the company had to stop start or otherwise turn in a different direction We live in volatile times We need to preserve that discretion and Lionbridge may teach us that the way to do that is to have a corporate policy that does that Most of all company policy has to define who has control of the process because all foreign nationals think that they re being sponsored they re the driving force but generally under the immigration laws it s the company that has the application and what if the company changes its mind Visa issues that crop up repeatedly include expiring I 94 cards a problem that tends to occur more often with family members than with the employee him or herself The consequences are severe If the families overstay their expiration date by six months and leave the country they are barred from coming back for three years And if that gap is a year they can t come back for a decade Companies have to be careful not to reassign foreign national employees in a way that violates their status There is a tendency for some organizations to say once the person is here we can do anything we want with them We can assign them to a subsidiary We can put them on a client site That may not always be possible Firms also need to be wary of risks involving their contractors Wal Mart was fined 11 million for immigration violations involving cleaning contractors for several of its stores The Obama administration has made worksite enforcement a major issue including notices of intent to fine all across the country for Form I 9 violations Finally state immigration legislation has become pervasive and it s going to get worse if there is no comprehensive immigration reform on the federal level Mr Groban said Already Georgia Colorado and Arizona impose requirements that go beyond the Form I 9 Corporate Social Responsibility The concept of corporate social responsibility or CSR departs from the oft cited view that the sole purpose of a corporation is to make profits and that corporate success is measured by the bottom line Michael Levine of Epstein Becker Green said To others CSR is the notion that corporations are or should be responsible for their impact on their stakeholders those who are interested in or affected by what corporations do Some call this the triple bottom line or the three Ps people planet and profits The issue then is do you have to do CSR Is it required Is it voluntary Is it a good practice And I think the answer is that there has been an increasing widely held view that it s a mix of both he said Implementing environmental social and governance principles or ESG into corporate operations can be seen as a form of a corporate survival regimen Addressing ESG issues tends to help a company survive and sustain itself over time ESG can be thought of as part of a sustainable business model because it has been repeatedly argued that one of the causes of the current financial crisis was an excessive focus on realizing short term profits and issuing positive earnings reports living life by the quarter instead of seeking long term sustainable growth Consideration of ESG factors may be mandatory as a matter of fiduciary duty in some contexts for example in the investment decisions of pension fund trustees In other contexts a commitment to ESG may be undertaken voluntarily as a matter of good business to avoid litigation and to address the concerns of shareholders Unsatisfied stakeholders may commence action campaigns like the Toys are Toxic campaign and under performing companies may be subject to the scrutiny of watchdog organizations such as Private Equity Watch There are also voluntary citizenship programs such as the UN Global Compact and the Equator Principles many companies sign up for these commitments but the issue then is do they live up to them We have a big financial regulatory bill that could massively affect the entire financial services industry in part perhaps because certain influential stakeholders may perceive that in the past corporations paid insufficient attention to ESG issues Mr Levine said With any compliance issue whether it s human rights environmental green business or supply chain anti sweatshop laws such as recent anti sweatshop legislation in

    Original URL path: http://japansociety.org/page/multimedia/articles/minimizing_legal__compliance_risks_strategies_for_multinational_financial_services_firms_operating_in_the_us (2016-02-14)
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  • Celebrating 150 Years of U.S.-Japan Trade Relations: Promoting the Next 150 Years of U.S.-Japan Business Collaboration: Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    the International Energy Agency s program on oil the ambassador said As China grows will the U S and Japan become less important for each other or more important The world is a big place and we are not the most rapidly growing parts therefore Japanese and American companies will find increasingly prospective partners from other countries that may have the technology that they want or their marketing expertise Professor Lincoln replied It doesn t necessarily mean that that bilateral relationship is not important but that in the context of the world it will look relatively less critical Recognize too that what comes from China actually incorporates a lot of Japanese technology or parts components and vice versa just as Japanese products include microprocessors from the U S Ambassador Nishimiya said We need to be careful in jumping to conclusions from a slightly over simplistic view of the world that China is becoming bigger the U S and Japan are becoming smaller U S and Japanese companies and governments should press for better IP protection in China the U S Japan security relationship remains paramount and the fact that we share common values is very very important And that s fundamentally why I think our companies do feel comfortable with each other Is Britain a metaphor for the future of our relationships including the country s broader role as its share of the global economy has shrunk Professor Lincoln agreed that Britain is to an extent a model One hundred and thirty years ago it was the preeminent economy in the world It is no longer The UK drifted through much of the 20th century dealing with a variety of problems dismantling their empire creating a somewhat unworkable welfare state But they ve gotten along and that s what we will do London and the UK have the ability to invite the entire world to them Ambassador Nishimiya said Financial firms in the City of London hire personnel from many countries Rolls Royce is now owned by a German automaker That kind of openness to anything that would maximize their own national interest including an economic interest and their ability to communicate their ability to negotiate it s still a great source of inspiration for Japan Most Japanese companies don t want to be bought and they have the tools to prevent it So the percentage of foreign ownership is tiny by international standards To what extent do you see that changing The government generally is trying to encourage foreign direct investment in Japan Now how things evolve in the individual companies is a slightly different matter Ambassador Nishimiya said As a matter of policy as Ed suggested earlier the days of trying to resist if you will investment and takeovers are more or less behind us But I don t know when we will reach your stage in the U S and Europe It may be slow It may be still small But something is changing Things that I would have thought were impossible in the early 1990s like a foreign organization buying a Japanese financial institution would have been unheard of until very recently Professor Lincoln reflected Panel Discussion Future Business Collaboration in Transportation Tourism and Food Culture In 1868 shortly after the delegation of samurai were welcomed in New York Japan s principal exports were silk tea and fishery products and even in 1930 the picture was much the same though textiles had replaced tea Hajime Ito of JETRO New York said After 1945 Japan s main export items shifted to steel ships chemicals and by 1980 autos and electronics The country built up huge trade surpluses More recently Japan s trade surplus on the goods side has shrunk considerably though the trade deficit in services shows little change One source of the service sector deficit is travel Mr Ito noted The modest increase in American tourism in Japan is strongly outweighed by Japanese tourism in the U S Another is transportation which means that a lot of the tourists between Japan and the United States are mainly using American airline companies A third area that bears a closer examination is food Japanese cuisine holds a special place in the U S which today has 14 000 Japanese restaurants 624 in Manhattan alone Why is Japanese food so popular in this town he asked American friends praise Japanese food as delicious beautiful healthy and faithful to the fundamental flavors of each ingredient They also and somewhat surprisingly praise it as expensive If you treat someone to a Japanese meal it demonstrates your commitment to the relationship How can companies capitalize on Americans love of Japanese food culture They must think in terms of solutions and systems and look beyond food and restaurants to cooking utensils cutlery and even furniture and interior design Mr Ito said They can also look to tourism with which food has a natural connection In a recent survey of foreign tourists in Japan some 37 percent of respondents said they came to Japan because they wanted to enjoy genuine Japanese cuisine in Japan Comprehensive marketing strategies developed jointly by the food and tourism industries should be very useful in realizing the potential of these connections The link between tourism and transportation is likewise manifest Improvements in Japan s tourism infrastructure include direct flights from JFK to Haneda airport due to begin this October and a new rail line that cuts down travel time from Narita to the center of Tokyo to 36 minutes Train travel represents 29 percent of domestic personal transportation in Japan but only 1 percent in the U S Mr Ito said The Shinkansen takes travelers nearly everywhere in Japan and is much more energy efficient and eco friendly than automobile and air travel With the Obama administration planning to offer 8 billion in subsidies for high speed rail routes in California Florida Texas and other states an alliance of Japanese business interests backed by the Japanese government is now

    Original URL path: http://japansociety.org/page/multimedia/articles/celebrating_150_years_of_us-japan_trade_relations_promoting_the_next_150_years_of_us-japan_business_collaboration (2016-02-14)
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  • The Japan-China-U.S. Triangle: Competing Partners: Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    confident that we would just go forward and close the deal without it because CFIUS has the power to completely unwind the transaction So any time you have China and something a little bit sensitive unfortunately as you can imagine it s a huge political football A second noteworthy transaction is Geely s purchase of Volvo from Ford Mr Wilkins said Geely is paying 1 8 billion in exchange for the Volvo Car Corporation plus and this is key IP licenses and grants without which Geely could not make Volvo cars since they are built using the same platform as Ford cars Geely s Chairman and founder is Li Shufu an entrepreneur whose first venture was a small photo business he started with a high school graduation present of 100 RMB Mr Wilkins said He made his first car in 1998 not too long ago By 2009 he has produced 329 000 cars He is aiming for 421 000 this year But in 2015 he wants to make 2 million cars The company s biggest markets include Russia Ukraine and Venezuela but of course he is looking at the largest automobile market in the world which is China It s important for people to remember that you have state owned enterprise approaches that are still quite common in China but the entrepreneurs are coming and they are carrying a lot of cash he concluded For those hoping to make investments in China there is good news and bad news said Carl Cheng of Freshfields The bad news is that the laws continue to be very vague and counterintuitive The government processes are still very difficult The good news is that if as a foreigner you are prepared to have the patience and jump the hurdles that the laws and the government processes create it has become much much easier to get the financial results that you need to justify your investment in China As GM s experience reflects foreigners by and large are doing very very well with their investments in China China began to open up its economy to foreigners only about 30 years ago and was greatly concerned that there would be another invasion maybe another opium war maybe there would be a revolution Mr Cheng said At first foreigners couldn t set up shop in China at all but had to make contract arrangements from Hong Kong Then the Chinese began to allow representative offices one guy maybe with a couple of secretaries who sits in China He can t do business but he can act as a liaison And there was no revolution there was no invasion The Chinese said Okay Well that s not so bad The country then allowed foreign manufacturers to set up joint ventures with a Chinese partner When these ventures went well the Chinese said Okay We ll let foreigners set up 100 percent and wholly foreign owned enterprises This was so successful that a big chunk of China s foreign exchange I think as of 2000 most of China s foreign exchange had been generated actually by foreign companies who had established investments in China Now that has changed since then But that s how well these investments did in China And now China said We re not doing so bad Now the country is much stronger We don t have to worry about somebody coming over with a gunboat trying to open up one of our ports So China is at the cusp of a stage where they are saying Maybe we will let foreigners come in and set up these foreign invested companies limited by shares these are basically corporations the equivalent of a listed corporation in the U S where we let foreigners try to raise capital in China Not every industry is eligible for foreign participation Mr Cheng noted An auto company for example has to have at least 50 percent Chinese ownership Listings of which industries allow foreign investment and at what level are set out in the Foreign Investment Guidance Catalog Business people must keep in mind that if their business plan changes let s say they start a pen factory it doesn t do well and they want to convert it to make laser pointers they must apply to the Chinese government for approval before making the change Moderator Philip Berkowitz reflected on the complex relationship among Japan China and the U S The growth of China as an economic power has to some degree threatened Japan s standing as Asia s leading economic power Japan feels uneasy about the growing strength of the American relationship with China McDonald s plans to double its number of restaurants in China by the year 2013 in March General Motors sales set a monthly record in China which is now GM s largest market Japan and China share much culturally including similarities in language respect for elders and working in consensus rather than focusing on the individual yet some aspects of business culture may be quite different In a recent article Mr Berkowitz said the head of JW Thompson s Japan office wrote that he thought that culturally the Japanese don t bargain but the Chinese bargain as an entertainment and exercise Harmony he said in China is a means to an end but in Japan it s an end in itself Workers in China surveyed about layoffs said that given the choice between a broad based salary cut and layoffs of poor performers they d prefer layoffs but in Japan the layoffs were shocking and there was stunned grief over that George Pierce general counsel of Toyota Tsusho America recounted the story of the time a client of his was sued in China in a dispute about fish Mr Pierce s client was a Japanese owned American company that was being sued for breach of contract by a Chinese company The allegations were quite simple There was a contract to supply fish The plaintiff had

    Original URL path: http://japansociety.org/page/multimedia/articles/the_japan-china-us_triangle_competing_partners (2016-02-14)
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