Tag: Global

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What’s Behind Japan’s Profit Rebound? Unsexy Companies Like Toray Little Known Abroad, Companies in More Pedestrian Industries Boost Economy Again

Author: Eric Pfanner Originally posted: The Wall Street Journal TOKYO—Corporate Japan is posting record profits again. It has companies like Toray to thank, again. Toray isn’t a household name outside Japan. But unlike some such as Sony Corp. that are, Toray Industries Inc. is thriving, along with other companies in more-pedestrian industries that are helping lead Japan’s comeback from two decades of economic torpor. Toray helped Japan out of crisis once before: Amid the devastation after World War II, the textile maker was among the big exporters that revived the economy. Today, it exports carbon fiber for Boeing airliners, fabric

Barriers and Solutions for Setting Up Study Abroad Programs

As a long-time proponent of study abroad, I am convinced that students who live and work overseas gain a wider perspective and a global viewpoint. They can expand their networks and get valuable experience in learning how to negotiate, exchange ideas, and discuss opposing opinions respectfully. The primary reason Japanese students, particularly male students, are not going overseas is that they have little incentive to do so, even if they have the desire. Indeed, the educational system – and corporate society in general – seem set up especially to put roadblocks in the way of this kind of activity. People

Japan Needs More People with Foreign Experience

As I write this, the Japanese women’s soccer team “Nadeshiko” Japan won the World Cup for the first time ever. This was a tremendous accomplishment by a team composed of Japanese women who have studied or played outside of Japan for many years. It was interesting to listen to the sports commentator mention how Japan could comeback (after getting behind on goals) because several of the players had played in the United States and “know” how their opponents think and play. To understand how the world “plays,” I feel, is very important to the future of Japan. Unfortunately, the number

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Innovation Japan

Here is an interesting statistic I use in my entrepreneurial class, various speeches and eluded to at last Saturday’s MIT D-Lab event.  The statistics is from the BusinessWeek/Boston Consulting Group (BCG) World’s top 50 innovative companies for 2008.  Obviously, the main intent of this list is to rank the innovative companies for that year.  While the companies listed and the ranking itself may be debatable, I find this list useful in explaining the current state of Japan.  The slide I’ve created includes just the top 25 companies ranked in order.  On top of this, I’ve added the year each corporation

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Japan Go Global

For the last several weeks, I have travelled to several countries in Africa and the Middle East to talk with various governments about their S&T, innovation and entrepreneurial policy.  Everywhere I go, everyone has the same comments about how Japan is mature, stable and a nation that has everything.  People look to Japan as an innovative country with money, technology, global corporations and name brands.  Many countries also recognize Japan as a leader in clean technology even before the word “green” became popular and fashionable.  Unfortunately, over the last 20 years, Japan has been in a economic and political malaise.  GDP has

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