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Cultures collide with Toyoda testimony


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"Corporate leaders in Japan are affable cheerleaders who solicit everyone’s views and avoid confrontation at almost any cost. It is called “nemawashi.”"

... and with that sentence, I stopped reading the article. For it was blindingly clear that who ever wrote this does not understand Japanese corporate culture, and just parroted a phrase off articles seen on, say, Yahoo.com. While Japanese corporate culture is more consensus-driven, there are plenty of corporate leader who are a darn sight more than just "cheerleaders". Garbage.

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christa879: It's probably as simple as this: Congress doesn't want to be blamed for having chronically underfunded ALL regulatory agencies for the last 10 years (SEC, FDA, NHTSA, FAA, you name it...). More robust regulation wouldn't have prevented the problem, but it would have forced a resolution earlier, before so many died. The deaths of these victims is as much on Congress' hands as on Toyota's. But, Congress was more concerned with giving huge tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans at every opportunity than with properly funding the government. After all, you see, "Government is the problem" -- "the free market will regulate itself," and all that.... THAT's why they've got to make so much noise about Toyota -- to keep the attention focused there, and not on themselves...

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Cultures collide. Amen to that! Am I the only one who witnessed Toyoda shed tears in the US when he addressed workers at a Toyota plant last week? Wonder if he'll cry during his apology to China's customers?

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Akio Toyoda scored considerable points back in Japan with his televised "otoko noki" act.

I'd say he showed enough of the required regret and remorse for what has happened.

Toyota tried to get too big to be #1 in the world and forgot about some of the controls that helped make them a leader in quality and customer satisfaction.

And they really screwed by worrying about how many millions they could save with limited recalls to deal with only a part of their problems from a couple of years ago

They will recover after a down period, and many thousands of Americans whose jobs depend on Toyota's success certainly hope so, too.

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kyoken- Stop blowing this thing up as a clash of cultures. It is just a damn Japanese company that grew to big to be managed properly and could not live up to its proclaimed superior quality.

The media, congress, and majority people do not buy that.

In case anyone is interested Toyota is in the hot seat again today with article titled "Toyota Accused of Withholding Data" and the link at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/27/business/27toyota.html?hp

or "Lawmaker: Toyota Withheld Crash Lawsuit Evidence"by The Associated Press at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122825087

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Toyota is stuck in a nightmare right now, but its president is brand new, and it seams like he intends to fix the problems. If he is true, Americans will support him, and Toyota, and this storm will blow over. Whats important is that Toyota does the right thing, and acts quickly. America will give you a second chance if you don't treat us like dummies.

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Toyoda gave a long, indirect answer — establishing a pattern for the hearing.

Seems to be the pattern Toyota took in facing up to its problems, too. That's precisely what's pissing people off to this extent.

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Stop blowing this thing up as a clash of cultures. It is just a damn Japanese company that grew to big to be managed properly and could not live up to its proclaimed superior quality.

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Or maybe Toyota should learn a thing or two about the US. Congessmen have no obligation to know cr*p about Japan. If Japanese companies want to sell in the US they have the obligation to know about the market they sell in. Period.

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This is not an American conspiracy to kill Toyota, because the Toyoda factories in America employ Americans and certain states rely on those factory jobs. I'm currently studying abroad in Japan and I'm honestly shocked as to why US lawmakers are acting so derogatory towards the Toyota situation. The lawmakers in the US are making a big deal out of this story to pursue their own political agenda. Unfortunately they are doing more harm than good. US lawmakers should learn a thing or two about another culture before they deal with them. And as a second note: I'm not all against the US's side as well, Toyoda studied in the US and does a lot of business with the US, so how in the world can he and his PR rep be so out of touch with the American perspective on business?

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I disagree. I would never appear before a parliament and speak in my second language without professional help.

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This guy has an M.B.A. from an American university, and apparently spent some of his high school days in Hawaii working on his English/tan. The translator thing is a piece of stagecraft, and should not be allowed to be overused. It just makes the already obscure answers even slower to come and even more muddy.

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I still support Toyota, though I do not currently drive one. They make a superior product, unlike the United States Congress. These angry congressman, with their own legislation, create plenty of damaged goods of their own. They should be looking into that instead.

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When I saw Mrs. Rhonda Smith started describing her experience with her Lexus, I had hard time to figure out her accounts, in which she said changing the gear shift to neutral, "REVERSE while driving at full speed" and emergency side brake all didn’t work but car stopped in three minutes. If that were the case, the problem for Toyota would be far bigger than ECTM. "The Lexus sedan driven by Rhonda Smith, who testified in Congress Tuesday about a harrowing incident of sudden acceleration, is still on the road, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In fact, the new owners of the luxury ES350 sedan have reported 27,000 miles trouble-free with the vehicle, according to a NHTSA spokeswoman. Mrs. Smith and her husband sold the vehicle after the incident, in which she thought she might die. The federal safety agency followed up with the new owners last week. A NHTSA spokeswoman said "they have had no problems with the Lexus since they bought it with less than 3,000 miles on the car." http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703510204575085283264587688.html?KEYWORDS=Mrs+Smith+sold+lexus

Ms. Smith and her husband had no compunction about selling a car which they characterized as a "death" car to someone else? Makes you wonder, did she describe her story to the buyer when she sold it? If not, and if that car were to be in some unexplained accident involving claims of "unintended acceleration" wouldn't she be criminally libel?

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"I am Toyota in America"

Just what happened to the strong headed Americans the world could look up-to for leadership. These days the Americans sell their soal for a nickel and a penny and betray their core values.

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The actual titled of the article "Analysis: Cultures collide with Toyoda testimony" written by Ron Fournier, an Associated Press writer. This article is an opinion piece. If the reporter is going to write an article it would be nice to have both sides of how much contribution senators received instead of Issa only. The press gets a pass all the time because no one calls them for it.

Toyoda have answered questions. His answers are not the American answers to questions.

But it wasn’t pretty. Not with so many lives at risk or already wasted by mechanical defects. It's a culture thing.

There are millions lives at stake because of smoking and second-hand smoking, but lets just focus on Toyota. If Toyota cars are a hazard then maybe people should be walking to their destinations of work, shopping, or visiting family/friends. Toyota cars are not the only one with a defect problem. All vehicles are a hazard with defects along with the driver behind it.

Silence to problems for the sake of harmony can and does result in inaction and sometimes even injustice.

This applies to American business also and not just on Japanese business. How many times must an employee(s) say the same thing over about a problem and it get over looked, the person in charge doesn't see the evidence so he/she disregard the complaints and do nothing to fix the problem, or the person in charge knows but won't do anything and says maybe the person is having a bad day.

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ahocchau: As I said in post yesterday, they bent over backwards to be almost POLITE.

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Also to non-Americans, if you have never seen one of these US Congress whitch hunts before, yesterday's was EXTREMELY tame and uneventful.

We treat our own with much more distain than they treated Toyoda yesterday.

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"Nemawashi" Maybe it works. Or is it do as I say and "see no evil, speak no evil, and hear no evil." Harmonious, but reality is sometimes checked because it does not fit with the program. Thus the long response time to real life taking issues. Humility is also being realistic. Silence to problems for the sake of harmony can and does result in inaction and sometimes even injustice.

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For you non-Americans these politicians were members of the House of Rep. and have to seek reelection every two years(members of the Senate six years), so they are constantly in campaign mode. That's why they are sometimes frothing at he mouth.

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The word 'Culture' is either misunderstood or misused in Japan. This is a legal battle based on International Regulations, and Japan is free to fight it back.

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My Jp wife and Jp/Am son both insist this is an American conspiracy to kill Toyota. Thus the Jp media machine works well.

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