Finally! An accurate article on Japan ("In Japan, plus a ahange...," International Business, Aug. 8). Being Japanese, I have been frustrated by overstated or generalized articles. As a management consultant, I often have to deal with clients who have vast misconceptions concerning business in Japan. I want to add a few comments.
-- Politics: It's the same old game. Do not count on any drastic changes, even after the opposing coalition returns.
-- Bureaucracy: MITI's position has weakened, but not relative to the Ministry of Finance's more influential status. The MOF has always been the real power contender.
-- Keiretsu: Keiretsu are not as exclusive as U.S. scholars assume. Many keiretsu companies are seeking business opportunities outside their groups, especially because of the recession and the strong yen. There are opportunities for Americans to do business with keiretsu, if they can play the game wisely.
Atsushi Funakawa, Director
InterCultural Business Management Geonexus Communications Inc.
Palo Alto, Calif.