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Businessweek Archives

Tokyo Is A Prefecture, Not A City (Int'l Edition)

International -- Readers Report

Tokyo Is a Prefecture, Not a City (int'l edition)

"Can this man save Tokyo?" (Asian Business, Dec. 27) demonstrates the dangers of doing business in Japan: People sojourning here often temper what they see and hear to match preexisting perceptions. The so-called Tokyo City Hall is not a city hall but rather the seat of the Tokyo prefectural government, whose chief executive is a governor. Cities have mayors. Of course, the prefectural government does not help clarify the situation by calling itself, in English, "Tokyo Metropolitan Government."

There hasn't been a City of Tokyo since 1943. Today, the larger region that many foreign execs think of as a city consists of 23 special wards that are essentially special cities. This April, those wards will take on the most important missing function that distinguishes them from regular cities when each individually takes over from the prefecture the task of collecting its own garbage.

Charles L. Cohen

TokyoReturn to top

Can European Governments Find a "Third Way"? (int'l edition)

I am an eager reader of BUSINESS WEEK and like your commentaries on Germany and Europe. But in "Germany is leading--in the wrong direction" (European Business, Dec. 13), I disagree with author John Rossant on one central point: Even though most commentators here find one or another action of the German government wrong, it is not the case that all intellectuals or businesspeople criticize moves such as the Holzmann rescue by the German government.

It is true that a lot of people on the Continent regard the U.S. economy with envy--but they really wouldn't like the American way of life in Europe. On the contrary, we see measures by Schroder & Co. as experimental in finding the Third Way. The American way of doing business is not the ideal solution for us.

Hikmat Bushnaq

LeipzigReturn to top

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