1996: Unification of World Economy and Internationalization of Japanese Business

The theme focused on new trends in Japanese business in the increasingly borderless world. Three keynote presentations centered around the theme and revealed new in-depth analysis.

Akihisa YAMADA (Yokohama University of Commerce) revealed his field surveys of Japanese companies in Russia, US and Europe, pointing out the need for Japanese business behavior to change drastically in the age of globalization. Japanese MNCs must conform to internationally known code of behavior to prevent corporate-culture friction. Vagueness ingrained in Japanese business, for instance, needs to be rectified.

Likewise Fukunari KIMURA (Keio University) and Hirohisa OBAMA (Shizuoka Prefectural University) maintained, on the basis of their investigation of the recent behavior of Japanese sogo-sosha (general trading companies), that their importance in Japanese trade transactions is on the downside and that they need to be diversified to include such businesses as initiating trades between third countries, developing new imports according to their design, and planning, building and maintaining new industrial parks in emerging economies. The general trading companies serve and will serve still as important information center to which other information-seeking companies flock.

Tamotsu TAKASE (Tokai University) illuminates his long research on a code of ethics on international business and argues that corporate ethics is deficient particularly in Japan. Japanese businessmen sometimes run the risk of becoming unscrupulous for the interest of their own companies. University education on corporate ethics needs to be improved. The floor agrees that Japanese companies must “live and work together for the common good” (“kyosei”) and satisfy the needs of “stakeholders”. Japanese-style management has reached a peak in the late 1980s, thereafter needing drastic change in the face of growing globalization. Japanese common sense is the world’s uncommon sense.

There were two papers on Korean Economy presented by Kim Kwang Doo, Sogang University, and Jung Chang Young, Yonsei University.

A special symposium was also held on the same theme with focus on automobile industry, with invited panelists from Europe, US and Japan.