crime

2 Japanese firms snared in big price-fixing probe in U.S.

31 Comments

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31 Comments
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When Japanese company will understand that the US government don't play games and take we are sorry in from of a camera.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

This is just the beginning. obama knows that Japanese companies are a gold mine, they paid more than 1 billion dollars in fines in the last 3 years. With TPP will be even worse, U.S. companies could trigger mechanism ISD and earn billions of dollars from the Japanese government. American lawyers are rubbing their hands with joy if Japan joining the TPP.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

Is this the only way the U.S makes money these days?

-7 ( +8 / -15 )

This is just the beginning. obama knows that Japanese companies are a gold mine, they paid more than 1 billion dollars in fines in the last 3 years. With TPP will be even worse, U.S. companies could trigger mechanism ISD and earn billions of dollars from the Japanese government. American lawyers are rubbing their hands with joy if Japan joining the TPP.

OR - Japanese companies could just be honest in the first palce and then it wouldnt be an issue at all.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

This is a economic war. This is the true face of mr obama.

-9 ( +5 / -15 )

Agreed Chiba. You never see Aussie or German or Korean or Italian companies doing these crooked things. Its one after the other of these J companies getting busted and pleading to felony charges. Just play fair...

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

You never see Aussie or German or Korean or Italian companies doing these crooked things.

Really?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Japan should get one’s own back.Do not sign agreement TPP is a good start.

-16 ( +0 / -15 )

ilbonjokpal - Agreed Chiba. You never see Aussie or German or Korean or Italian companies doing these crooked things. Its one after the other of these J companies getting busted and pleading to felony charges. Just play fair...

Obama is not dumb. He knows that the Japanese are much easier to make bullyng. German and Korean government spend millions of dollars on lobbying.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Its not the Japanese are crooked. Collusion (aka 'team work') is the normal way of acting or thinking, which is why their manufactures have always been able to outpace US equivalents. Im pretty sure this occurred with little, if any, direct contact between the firms, they just all gravitated towards a mutually acceptable equilibrium.

Other posters are correct in saying that this will increasingly be a problem for Japanese firms, especially under TPP. As long as Japanese firms exceed/succeed in ways that others cant (mis)appropriate, it will be considered 'unfair', and fair game for fines & lawsuits. And the Japanese civilised custom of 'buying peace' will only invite more.

Only solution for Japanese firms (& people) is to 'stand up!' and adopt/improve-on the same legal practices as the US. Im sure Japan would be extremely successful under TPP, with the 1-2 combination of: (1) technology-driven, aggressive expansion into new markets, aimed at destroying jobs/wealth; followed by, (2) abusive lawyering, once moves are made to protect the industry/company being thus assaulted. Meanwhile, at home, Japanese industries are protected by general disdain/distrust of inferior & unsafe products from elsewhere.

Japan knows how to play 'beat them at their own game until they give it up' real well!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Other posters are correct in saying that this will increasingly be a problem for Japanese firms, especially under TPP. As long as Japanese firms exceed/succeed in ways that others cant (mis)appropriate, it will be considered 'unfair', and fair game for fines & lawsuits.

Price fixing IS illegal, unfair and fair game for lawsuits. Jeez, I cant believe how blind some people can be - Japanese can do no wrong? Think again. They are equally as dishonest and cuplable as anyone else and the recent scandals AT HOME as well as abroad prove that. So stop whining, man up and accept the punishment. Or forever be a victim of everything - the war, the TPP, American "bullying" - but the world will just look at you with contempt.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

this is a systemic problem in japan. j companies cant compete on a global level just look at bridgestone,auto parts makers and all the japanese car recalls in the world wake up and join the 21st century or you will be left in the dust while japan continues its protectionist economy america will gladlly accept alternatives from other countries what people fail to understand is when you open up your economy to foreign investment what follows is good paying jobs not the usual j-company excuse for decades long pay cuts with the promise of a better bonus next year

1 ( +4 / -3 )

ChibaChick, you have hit the nail that sticks out right on the head.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

And by the way - you think the Japanese were targeted in this scandal? Where were the other 14 firms from that are embroiled in it? Im sure they are not Japanese.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Enforcing collusion and conspiracy laws keeps prices low. So I guess some of you in Japan who are complaining about this article enjoy paying inflated prices?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

ChibaChick,

Price fixing IS illegal, unfair and fair game for lawsuits. Jeez, I cant believe how blind some people can be - Japanese can do no wrong? Think again. They are equally as dishonest and cuplable as anyone else and the recent scandals AT HOME as well as abroad prove that. So stop whining, man up and accept the punishment. Or forever be a victim of everything - the war, the TPP, American "bullying" - but the world will just look at you with contempt.

Really ? And what you say about NAFTA huh? U.S. companies earning billions dollars in fines from ICSID arbitration of canada and mexico. I will not be fooled by American propaganda again.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Really ? And what you say about NAFTA huh? U.S. companies earning billions dollars in fines from ICSID arbitration of canada and mexico. I will not be fooled by American propaganda again.

Sorry? What does any of that have to do with the issue at hand? Oh, yes, I see! We have gone from the "we Japanese are faultless" to the "well everyone else does it" excuse. Let me guess? Next you will be saying this is part of Japanese culture, right? Well, go ahead and stick your head in the sand and pretend to yourself everything is rosy in the Japanese garden. While the rest of the world - who are absolutely no more blameless I completely agree - actually see things for what they really are.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

ChibaChick is unleashed! And, as always, absolutely right.

Issa, I'd leave it if I were you. The Japanese victim card doesn't really work any more. Japanese firms were crooked, and got found out. There are plenty more fish in that particular barrel too, so you might want to start thinking up a couple more persuasive ripostes.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

ChibaChick,

Sorry? What does any of that have to do with the issue at hand? Oh, yes, I see! We have gone from the "we Japanese are faultless" to the "well everyone else does it" excuse. Let me guess? Next you will be saying this is part of Japanese culture, right? Well, go ahead and stick your head in the sand and pretend to yourself everything is rosy in the Japanese garden. While the rest of the world - who are absolutely no more blameless I completely agree - actually see things for what they really are.

There is something wrong here,don't you think ? U.S. companies trigger ICSID mechanism against canada and Mexico by 47 times and ... won all 47 disputes.

It's funny but Canada and Mexico trigger ICSID mechanism by 19 times against American companies and lost all 19 disputes .

Unfortunately the whole system is built considering favoring a single country, the united states of america,but we must admit,Americans are masters in propaganda.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

All readers back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The_True, and others who are trying to make this a 'Japanese company vs. the World' issue:

Yusen is a large global company, well aware of antitrust laws around the world. I don't think they were hoping for any compassion or mercy. They did the deed, and now they are pleading guilty for it. This is Japan Today, so they focus on Japanese companies in the news. End of story.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Yusen is a large global company, well aware of antitrust laws around the world. I don't think they were hoping for any compassion or mercy. They did the deed, and now they are pleading guilty for it. This is Japan Today, so they focus on Japanese companies in the news. End of story.

Agree.

And the farmer pulls another cart away...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Enforcing collusion and conspiracy laws keeps prices low. So I guess some of you in Japan who are complaining about this article enjoy paying inflated prices?

It's not enforced in Japan because virtually all government policies favor business at the expense of the consumer.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

These are the original news releases by the Justice department pertaining to these firms: http://www.justice.gov/atr/public/press_releases/2011/275452.htm http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2013/March/13-at-287.html

Non Japanese companies: EGL Inc. Kühne + Nagel International AG Geologistics International Management (Bermuda) Limited Panalpina World Transport (Holding) Ltd. Schenker AG BAX Global Inc.

Japanese companies and fines: Kintetsu World Express, $10,465,677 Hankyu Hanshin Express, $4,522,065 Nippon Express, $21,115,396 Nissin Corporation, $2,644,779 Nishi-Nippon Railroad $4,673,114 Vantec Corporation, $3,339,648 K” Line Logistics Ltd. $3,507,246 Yusen Logistics Co. Ltd. $15,428,207

1 ( +1 / -0 )

IMHO, The only person or entity in this whole discussion who is playing the "guilt card" or "perpetual victim card card" is Issa1, not the actual companies involved - so "Chiba Chick" and others should make this distinction. So by pleading guilty and agreeing to pay the fine, it looks like the Japanese companies have "manned up" , accepted blame, will take corrective measures and still probably eventually kick ass on the their American competitors. Also, "Chibachick" - do you think all 120+ million Japanese think exactly the same way and all feel like victims? you make it sound like because of what one particular poster wrote, that ALL Japanese think that way, rightly or wrongly. Just wondering...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

One thing is for sure, when Japanese companies get caught overseas for price fixing or whatever and get big fines and execs go to prison the last place you will see much about it is on Japanese TV news. The myth must be maintained of scrupulous honesty and even the evidence of ample wrongdoing and corporate irresponsibility in the Japanese market is still always attributed to one-off actions and rarely investigated as systematic behaviour. Watch and see.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

YEAH..... Japan should not join TPP. TPP is USA brain child.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I think you will find, bajhista65, that Brunei, Chile, Singapore and New Zealand are its parents, though here in Japan it is often portrayed as an outcome of devious US machinations, mainly by its opponents.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is not about Japanese firms/executives being dishonest or malintentioned, this is about superior business practices being made 'illegal' by those who are unable to imitate.

Japanese industrial strength has always been a product of culture, which has been the subject of much academic study: most MBA/business-school buzzwords for the past 30 years have been about systematizing and copying what comes naturally to the Japanese, eg: vertical/horizontal integration, supply chain management, customer relationship management, kanban, lean manufacturing, synergy, et al.

American manufacturing saw an opportunity to gain by imitating, so these practices quickly went from unAmerican/illegal to 'okay'.

As another poster pointed out, since the fear of impending 'Japanese takeover of America' died out in the 90s, legal frameworks have been implemented (eg: NAFTA, DMCA... soon, TPP) that allow firms to lawyer-bully anyone & anything that threatens the established (ie: 'US') way of doing business.

These cases are just preludes to more abuse.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Price fixing is a normal activity in Japan, doesn't anyone wonder why all movie theaters in Japan charge the same 1800 yen for a movie ticket? A movie ticket in America costs $2 to $15, depending on which theater you go to. America has strict laws against price fixing, which are rigidly enforced, regardless of the nationality of the company.

I wish Japan had the same laws, then perhaps Japanese products wouldn't sell for 40% more in Tokyo than they do in America, or that American products didn't sell for 200% more in Tokyo than they do in America, despite a very strong yen.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hehe. "It is regrettable" won't get you off the hook overseas J-Corps.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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