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Highlights: February 2002 Issue

A Look at Restructuring, Japan-Style, at NEC

As an increasing number of Japan's most dominant corporations move more and more deliberately to stem their profit decline and ensure their future viability, restructuring has in many cases become their major focus.  At NEC, one of Japan's technology giants, restructuring has been a corporate objective for two years.  We were fortunate to be able to ask one of NEC's top executives overseeing its restructuring effort, for additional insight into NEC's approach.  In an exclusive interview, NEC's Shunichi Suzuki discusses the mechanics of restructuring, offering rare detailed insight into how critical issues like business unit shutdown criteria and employee severance policies are handled in a Japan-style restructuring. 

Steady Progress in a Closed Market: The Knorr-Bremse Story

With 40,000 running cars, 190 rail operators and eight large railcar builders which also export to the rest of Asia, Japan is one of the largest rail systems markets in the world.  A manager at the Japan unit of Munich, Germany-based Knorr-Bremse Rail Systems explains how his company has increased local sales by an average of thirty percent annually since 1992.  It's not easy, especially when "some operators like European technology, and some don't."

A Specialist Offers Advice: "It's Time for a Revolution in Japan"

We depart from our normal format this month to offer a special, expanded Specialist column.  Our contributor this month, with decades of both US and Japanese business experience, has gained unique perspective on the broader issues we all face when operating in the Japanese environment.  Because readers frequently voice similar frustrations and concerns about Japan, we chose to invite this month's contributor to give full voice to the wide range of problems in Japan.   And he doesn't mince words -- here's an example: "I have witnessed numerous times how uninformed, uninspiring and often unethical, Japanese politicians are..."

From the Editors

Evolution, or Revolution?

Plus much more...

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