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Asahi Kasei, Takata, Toyo Tire, Toshiba, Olympus and many more too numerous to mention over the past decade -- the list of scandals concerning fabricated data, false labeling, accounting irregularitie

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They got caught. In the past, they got away with it.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

To survive in future Japan needs to seriously revamp their work culture. Structural changes is the need of the hour. Specially in a small nation like Japan with ageing population and growing male to female ratio.

Japanese are just too slow in taking decisions and adapting to changing global business environment. They have already lost a major advantage amongst other emerging asian markets to their Korean and Chinese counterparts.

Just targetting the numbers in balance sheet based on quantitative analysis is a short term vision. These recurring accounting irregularities are nothing but signs of panic.

Wake up Japan, adapt or get extinct!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

How about all the food companies, and all the hotels and restaurants from a few years ago. And it's not just Japan...it's happening everywhere in all industries.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

borscht hit the nail on the head. nothing happened to Japan inc. We just woke up from the matrix; the illusion that Japan did things right.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

What Borscht said. It's simply a matter of getting caught more frequently these days. Otherwise, it's just the same as it always was and ever shall be.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yup, they got caught. fiddling the books is a standard part of Japanese corporate life. and being going on for years (remember CSFP and the balance sheet rigging using derivatives? - that was in the 90's). And also product manipulation and waste dumping and so on.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What's happened to Japan Inc?

Simple, they became a victim of their own success and the model that got them there. The generation that took Japan to the top, was replaced by a generation of men who feel entitled to success, and do not know how to truly earn it, or even compete, because they grew up in a protected market. They are not leaders, they are simply the ones who caused the least amount of trouble going up through the ranks, so they did not create enemies. Ethics and honor have become abstract concepts in today's Japanese corporations, since we can also add both Honda and Toyota to the list of companies that hid defects or the like.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I am partly sympathetic to Borscht and others but there have been scandals involving corporate Japan for at least the 30 years of my association with the country and some pretty major ones before that. And they often get reported. Maybe nothing new has happened. But the people seem to have been trained to be indifferent to scandals and revelations - it's nothing to do with me, being a frequent refrain - and mostly want to believe that corporate Japan is honest and good so that is what they believe. The ideology of Japan being safe and harmonious also trumps any evidence to the contrary.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What's happened to Japan Inc?

Very little. The exceptionalism myth is in rude health.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

jerseyboy: "Simple, they became a victim of their own success and the model that got them there. The generation that took Japan to the top, was replaced by a generation of men who feel entitled to success, and do not know how to truly earn it, or even compete, because they grew up in a protected market."

Bingo!! You couldn't be more right. Add to this the fact that admitting their wrong doing is "shameful" in Japan and you have the reason for the coverups and lies when the fabrication comes to light. And the key phrase in the headline of this thread is not the names mentioned, but the "and others too numerous to mention", because beyond the names mentioned there are indeed SO many it is impossible to count; from HUGE ones like TEPCO to smaller, less harmful but equally damaging scandals with food companies and restaurants. "Made in Japan" is now far less trustworthy than "Made in China".

But don't tell tinawatanabe about all of these companies -- she blames the US for all of the problems and says it's all lies.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Signs of a maturing economy? It also has to be remembered that "Japan, Inc." in the first place was a stab at the government's industrial policy at that time. The whole sunrise, sunset industries era and the so-called convoying of business. Indeed, in those days the buck definitely stopped in the ministries, as such, no hanky panky saw the light of day.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Business as usual.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What has happened to Japan Inc.? It has caved in to American pressure to "do things the way we do"...

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Hypocrisy should also mentioned. Turning up your nose at products from other countries as if your own are always superior. People quickly forget how stinking milk, reused anko paste and falsely labelled meat and rice were once in the national news.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Nothing. Just that the internet spreads news around and people are starting to finally wake up to this all.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I'm going to disagree with the common view here, something has changed. When I first came to Japan after the recession had begun there was of course governmental corruption and some products were dodgy, but in general Japanese goods were famous for being dependable and reliable. And a lot of goods, like cell phones, video game entertainment, video equipment, automotive technology etc, were of superior quality to what you could get in the US.

As the "lost decade" stretched on into the "lost 30 years", more than just the Japanese economy has stagnated. People seem to have lost their drive. Apple killed the local mobile phone market, and it's almost like Japanese companies just gave up on innovation - now everything is just an iPhone clone. Samsung proved that other countries can compete with Apple on the game they invented, so Japanese mobile providers just took "Samsung" off their phone covers. Now I struggle to name even a single product Japan does better than anyone else.

When you can't compete with innovation and quality, you have to find some other way to compete. Japan has a high cost of living, so Japanese companies can't compete with companies in lower-cost economies by dropping prices. So that pretty much leaves only one way to compete - fraud. Which is what these scandals all revolve around.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

and it's almost like Japanese companies just gave up on innovation

I would say the education system here has killed it and Japan Inc can blame the government for killing off innovation and critical thinking.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

What worked in the roaring 50s & 60s for Japan does not work today. The list is endless, but Japan Inc. will have to endure hell before any meaningful changes are made. And by 'hell' I mean a complete dismantling of the very foundation its based upon - the old boys' club.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

tmarieNOV. 12, 2015 - 12:42PM JST I would say the education system here has killed it and Japan Inc can blame the government for killing off innovation and critical thinking.

I know it's very popular among expats in Japan to make this sort of claim, but I just don't believe it. From everything I've heard South Korea's educational system is just as based on rote-memorization of didactic lessons as Japan's is, perhaps more. And yet Samsung is a top-tier mobile technology manufacturer that doesn't just make good products, but which makes some of the best products. What specifically is different between the two countries' education systems to allow that difference?

Besides, as I said earlier I think Japanese businesses did innovate in the 70s - 90s. In order to blame the education system for Japan, Inc.'s current malaise, you'd have to identify some way that the educational system got worse in the 90s.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They got caught, that's all.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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