Prof. Noritake Kobayashi (Emeritus Professor, Keio University) and Mr. Shoichi Ikuta (Corporate Advisor, Marubeni) made presentations on "whether Japanese business is globalized in the true sense," moderated by Prof. Jiro Kokuryo (Keio University), at the December meeting of GLOCOM's Quarterly Seminar Series (Kenkyu Kyoryoku Iinkai), which was held at Ginko Kaikan in Marunouchi on December 6(Th), 10:00-12:30.
First, Prof. Kobayashi examines possible relations between the degree of internationalization and the level of business performance for Japan's representative corporations, and concludes that internationalization does not necessarily mean a better business performance, unless careful preparations are made. Therefore, it seems essential for management to be flexible in responding to ever changing business conditions, while trying to improve business performance in the process of internationalization.
Next, Mr. Ikuta emphasized the fact that Japan's general trading companies recently became quite profitable on the cashflow basis due to a radical change in its "business model" from traditional trading houses to more investment-oriented companies, a change which has turned out to fit perfectly the rapid pace of globalization for the last few years.
Prof. Kokuryo commented, by mentioning rapidly changing markets and businesses in Asia, that more explanations might be needed as to what has been happening in the business environment surrounding Japanese companies for the last few years in ordert to understand recent changes in Japanese business behavior and performance. Discussions on the floor, initiated by Mr. Yotaro Kobayashi (President, IUJ), focused on human resource development and business education in Japan.