Fresh & Hot from Japan, 12 to 18 May 2016

Please enjoy fresh & hot news from Japan with comments by Europe-Japan Dynamics.

12 May. Nissan to invest 200 billion yen in Mitsubishi Motors for its management rebuilding with a take-over in mind

NISSAN MOTOR CO., LTD. has decided to finance over 200 billion yen scale to Mitsubishi Motors (34% of the shares), which is being strongly shaken by the false reporting of fuel consumption rate. This act will be a de-facto take-over of Mitsubishi. Mitsubishi Motors will decide the acceptance of the investment in the board of directors on 12th. Nissan is also to decide an investment in the board of directors in the afternoon of the same day. Both companies will announce the capital tie-up in the afternoon. A large scale disgraceful affair of Mitsubishi Motors will lead to the massif reorganization of the automotive industry worldwide.

Comments: Automobile sector has responded to a disaster of a weak player so quickly.

13 May. Scholarship to support the study at the university will not lead to reduction of the welfare allowance

The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has adopted a policy not to reduce the welfare allowance, when a high school students from a family that receives the allowance using the scholarship to pay an examination and entrance fees of the university. Though the Ministry once decided not to adopt this policy at an operation review in the autumn last year because “Proceeding to study at the university is not a common practice”, it has changed the decision to include the expenses to enter the university in the list of items exempted from the reduction of welfare allowance. This change is to prevent “Handing over of the poverty” from a parent to a child.

Comments: An increasing population living in poverty is a big problem and becoming an attention of policy measures in Japan. The issue of the handing over of the poverty over the generations is especially critical, as having a university degree is a “must” to obtain a decent job.

16 May. Panasonic, to recruit more engineers for the AI development, including scout of talented students

Panasonic announced that the company will increase the number of engineers involved in the R&D (research and development) of AI (Artificial Intelligence) by 2 – 3 times more than the present number (less than 100) by 2018. The company has also started scouting excellent students studying AI. Panasonic also created a training program for in-house engineers to acquire skills to be an AI specialist in cooperation with a university in the Kansai Region. Mr. Yoshiyuki Miyabe, Managing Director in charge of R&D, said, “Observing an increasing need for AI engineers in various areas, we wish to increase the number of engineers”.

Comments:  AI requires much wider creativity than the present software development. It’s interesting to see how Panasonic will grow creativity, against a Japanese IT sector culture which is not strong in the creativity front.

17 May. Toyota to build a new factory in Malaysia to  produce 50,000 vehicles per annum, aiming at the operation from 2018

Toyota Motor Corporation plans to build a new factory in Malaysia to start operation in 2018.  The new factory which will produce 50,000 vehicles per year will be built near the existing one that produces 80,000 vehicles per year. The planned investment is tens of billions of yen. The company thus will meet an increase of local demand, while maintaining efficiency in production.

Comment: The plan reflects rapid growth of demand for personal vehicles that corresponds to income growth in South East Asia.

18 May. Suzuki also cheating mileage data

In connection with the issue of mileage camouflage of Mitsubishi Motors, Suzuki Motor Corporation has revealed that the company measured the mileage data of cars by a method different from the one in the national regulations. Chairperson Kazaru Suzuki reports it to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in the afternoon of 18th. The possibility of the false measurement of the mileage may spread throughout the industry. Nissan and Toyota have reported to the Ministry that they found no problem.

Comment: If the State has been OK with the paper reporting, it’s easy for companies to cheat. What can consumers trust?

  • All the news items are picked up from “Asahi Digital”, and summarized and translated by Europe-Japan Dynamics. The articles are not an official translation by the Asahi Newspaper.
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Author: Yoshiko KURISAKI (栗崎由子)

I am Yoshiko Kurisaki, Japanese, executive consultant specializing in cross-cultural management between Europe and Japan. Being based in Geneva, I travel between Europe and Japan. Culture may be a stop factor in business. That said, if you go beyond that, culture is a vaIuable source of inspirations and innovation. I help European businesses to turn cultural barriers to innovation.   栗崎由子(くりさき よしこ)、ダイバーシティ マネジメント コンサルタント。二十余年間欧州の国際ビジネスのまっただ中で仕事をしてきました。その経験を生かし、日欧企業むけにビジネスにひそむ異文化間コミュニケーションギャップを解消し、国籍、文化、性別など人々の違いを資源に変えることのできるマインドセットを育てるための研修やコンサルティングを行なっています。文化の違いは”面倒なこと”ではなく新しい価値を生み出す源泉です。日本人の良さを国際ビジネスに生かしながら、違いを資源に変えて価値を創造しましょう。ジュネーブ在住で、日本とスイスを往復しています。

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