Panasonic investigated in U.S. for alleged bribes


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It appears as though the japanese culture of lying (as was reported ranking 4th on the word) makes itself evident in japanese companies especially. (coughs) olympus

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It is funny how, in those lists of Japanese business practices, subversion of the free market is never one of them, yet it always seems to be a primary one. In fact, the bigger the company the less it seems to operate in a free market at all and some probably would be incapable of doing so.

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Japan: bribe = US: lobby

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The democratic party has always had an aggressive posture with japan but obama has done much more. He knows he can take all you want from Japanese companies.

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@badmigraine/issa1 So the convictions of Japanese parts manufacturers last year in the States was mostly/necessarily a foreign policy decision or merely/mainly a political party decision? I'm not saying party politics has nothing to do with it, or that political appointees don't have agendas, but I wouldn't rule out that sometimes some criminal behavior raises the interest of some federal prosecutors. I'm not saying these people are high-minded crime fighters. It may be that sometimes they see certain prosecutions as career moves. I imagine there are lots of factors as work here including genuine detection of criminal behavior. "It's not what you thought it was" sounds like "just asking questions." One of those phrases that seems to say something without saying something. Does this mean you know exactly how all of these prosecutions and policy decisions work and that they are all connected to the same chain of decision making and that some day you will let us in on the answer?

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The US is a real capitalism country and it always takes use of politicial or judicial measures to offend foreign competitive companies and protect American companies, this is only one of those tons of cases.

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I am certain they did. That's the way business is doen in the United States & the reason why our country is so jacked-up.

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shallots, you're right of course, some (most, I hope) things happen in their natural course, and the one you refer to was not just Denso and some Japanese suppliers--US suppliers were also prosecuted. I was not thinking about inside information or even a shadow conspiracy. I was thinking about about how the timing, presentation and posture of some enforcement actions is something that governments can and do set to affect international commercial and political affairs, as a matter of course. Frequent examples are US/Japan beef safety; US/China anti-dumping claim tit-for-tat; or pressure to conform to DMCA-type copyright rules in exchange for trade concessions or other support . This is part of the regular game of commerce and diplomacy. The US State Dept. and USTR spend a lot of time thinking and polishing on these sorts of issues. Regarding enforcement of laws or regulations, the prosecutor or agency has discretion to target and proceed using the resources they have. They have to sit and decide where to focus their efforts. They can't do everything and get everybody. Whether you're a smalltown DA or the US Dept. of Commerce, there is a political and selective element to what you do and when.

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What do you call donating money to US political parties? I call that a pay it forward bribe.... US needs to look at themselves instead of playing international policeman.

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Bellpeppers → Japan: bribe = US: lobby

Perfect comment.

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@Badmigraine - thanks for the thoughtful reply. @gogogo/akagiRitsuko - I'm not sure I see the connection to this particular issue. Are you saying that laws penalizing or prosecuting companies doing business in the U.S. that are involved in corruption shouldn't be enforced? Or is it that these laws should be stripped from the books? I'm not sure exactly what you're saying in regards to Panasonic. Do you think that whichever companies that can pay the most bribes should win? Please clarify your position. Pointing out the imperfections or failures of the U.S. systems doesn't seem to me to amount to a recommendation for U.S. prosecutors or lawmakers to ignore corrupt business practices.

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lets hope it isnt not as bad as Lockheed. but then again, these days, if the bankers can go free.. and if crediting agencies can reduce a financial products credit rating from AAA to nothing in an hr.. (subprime mortgages), as well as the political nature of the monsanto act.. then, surely.. its probably worse.

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Panasonic Avionics is an American company, headquartered in the US. Only twenty percent of the executive team are Japanese.

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There are three reasons that the justice department goes after a foreign company on the FCP act. 1) the money comes from a kick-back scheme that is paid for by USAID or World Bank funds (US tax dollars) , 2) The company is consistently uses corruption for a competitive advantage against US companies, or 3) the corruption is politically destabilizing and goes against US interests. As it is, US companies are essentially locked out of SE Asia because it it illegal to do business the way the locals want. That not to say that the US companies are a paragon of moral virtue, but they at least try and hide it.

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Thanks, Get Real, for the information about the executives at the company.

Interesting that one of their vision statements is: "Perform professionally, ethically, and with the customers’ interests in mind at all times".

I think my statement still stands however. Subversion of the market is certainly not a unique feature of large Japanese companies but it is nonetheless a major feature. And, just because examples can be found elsewhere it does not then justify anything. My point is that in Japan itself there is very little scepticism about how large companies operate. There is little awareness of how much corporate welfare there is nor how protected the companies are nor how aggressive the companies are in protecting their interests against the interests of the country, the environment, the market itself and, of course, the consumer. They are seen as essentially benign and very little news of their wrongdoing and punishment abroad seems to get out, unless, as in Toyota's case, they can be portrayed as being somehow victimized.

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This is all politics.

Save all evidence of bribes? Does that include gift receipts for yo-kan and gift baskets?

They're just trying to attack the one leading successful division of Panasonic, most likely a case of attempted defamation of Japanese companies. I would not be surprised to hear of a competitor to the Panasonic Avionics in-flight system in coming months. They'll appear right as Panasonic's negative-sentiment takes a foothold thanks to the AP. Reminds me of Toyota's unintended acceleration case: The ruling? Driver Error. Too late, PR damage already done.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Sounds like someone's come down with a case of victim-itis.

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