business

Honda appoints woman to board, promotes foreigner

20 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA

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20 Comments
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Honda has cultivated an international image from its early years.

Cultivating an image, and actually being a multi-national company are far different, as many Japanese companies prove. And appointing one woman and a Brazilian named "Mizoguchi" hardly makes them trendsetting.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

"She is now in charge of promoting gender equality at the university in Tokyo."

"Honda officials stressed Kunii was picked because she was the right person for the job, not because of her gender."

Alright, call me a cynic, but those two statements don't add up.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

appointing one woman and a Brazilian named "Mizoguchi" hardly makes them trendsetting.

It does in Japan.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Instead of appointing people just because they are a woman or a foreigner and it fits with government's agenda of " we'll promote more women into leadership positions " to show how progressive we are - how about trying to promote people based on merit and ability ( be they men or women, japanese or foreign ) instead of the seniority system. You might actually end up with the best and most suitable people running things instead of ( more often than not ) oyajis close to retirement age that got to the top just because they put in their 30 years with the company. Now there is a radical novel idea.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I look forward to the day when "[insert name of Japanese company here] Promotes Foreigner" no longer makes headline news. Long way to go, I'm afraid.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Nothing against Isao Mizoguchi but it seems like marrying your cousin. They really should have tried to hire a non-Japanese woman. But they probably can't take real change.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If this was in any other country and the news read "promoted asian" there would be all hell broken loose.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Cultivating an image, and actually being a multi-national company are far different, as many Japanese companies prove. And appointing one woman and a Brazilian named "Mizoguchi" hardly makes them trendsetting.

Still as tiny step as it is, it's a start to further the progressive movement. Hopefully it's not just a trend.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The headline is almost 'The Onion' worthy! Japanese society - advanced in some ways, so far behind in others...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

i hate to say it, but time to sell Honda shares. other attempts by Japanese companies to change like this (women, foreigners) have mostly not ended well.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Women say the difficulties of finding proper child-care as well as cultural expectations about women doing housework make it tremendously difficult to pursue a career in Japan.

Childcare yes, housework, really?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

They should have appointed Howard Stringer who did a great job at Sony...He is a good example of great achievement when foreigners are appointed as bosses...

/sarcasm off

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Kunii studied at San Jose University and the University of Texas at Austin, and previously worked for Japanese electronics maker Ricoh Co.

Ricoh is a perennially nutty outfit, although they were one of the first OA manufacturers here to get in on the green manufacturing boom. I wonder if Kunii was involved in that aspect of the business.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

from another article,

"We chose someone appropriate regardless of the nationality or gender for a broader perspective," a Honda spokeswoman said.

Its ridiculous that they have to actually give an explanation. But this makes it sound even more like the publicity stunt it is, rather than an actual change in thinking.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good for Honda.

Like I said before, when's the last time an American car company appointed a person of Japanese descent to CEO or board?

Anyone? Anti Japan crowd?

This is a very relevant question, since people are so quick to nitpick and judge those 'xenophobic' Japanese companies, when in fact they have been far more open towards hiring foreigners as CEO's compared to American companies hiring Japanese.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@oldman

While I don't doubt you have basis that there are no Japanese executives in the US, the issue isn't Japan and the U.S. It is about major companies having executives that are not native to the said companies country. So you have to compare on those terms.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

it is a start!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ricoh is a perennially nutty outfit, although they were one of the first OA manufacturers here to get in on the green manufacturing boom. I wonder if Kunii was involved in that aspect of the business.

She couldn't be involved. She is a woman in Japanese corporation world.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hideko Kunii?

Sounds like a foreigner to me- hope she doesn't stand out too much....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Hidko is a girl's name. Kunii is Japanese name, too She graduated San Jose State U and U of Texas. She has PhD. Definitely a Japanese lady.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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