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Dear  AIB members,

We are pleased to announce that Volume 7, Issue 2, 2022 of Japan MNE
Insights is now available online (
and in PDF format.
It is the official newsletter of the Japan Academy of Multinational

This issue includes two special essays, and we would like to share their
summaries with you.

*By Derek Lehmberg (North Dakota State University, U.S.A.), “Strategy in
Japanese Business: A New Era?”*

Synopsis: In a widely read Harvard Business Review article published in
1996, Michael Porter commented that most Japanese companies did not have
strategies.  Porter further developed his observations about Japanese
companies in a follow up book with Hirotaka Takeuchi and Mariko Sakakibara
published in 2000.  At business and corporate strategy levels, most
Japanese companies, Porter argued, had not been making strategic
tradeoffs.  Over the years since then, I have often wondered: are Porter’s
arguments still valid?  I recently began researching corporate turnaround
in Japanese electronics companies.  The firms I have been observing have
indeed been making decisions involving very significant tradeoffs, and
while many of these firms used to follow parallel trajectories in the past,
their future paths appear to be diverging greatly.  These observations
suggesting that these companies are adopting new and unique strategies,
precisely what Porter argued that they did not have.

*By Naotoshi Umeno (Osaka University of Commerce, Japan), “Business and
Society: Rethinking of the Old and Contemporary Issues Inspired by the
Indian Experience”*

Synopsis: In this essay, I talk about the old and new issues, Business and
Society, based on the Indian experience. I recently published a book about
the corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives of Indian companies.
In conducting research on this theme, I felt shocked by a sharp contrast
between India and Japan in terms of the attitudes toward the social
responsibility of a firm. I witnessed several Indian companies
enthusiastically engaging with various community development projects. On
the contrary, Japanese companies were filled with scandals and scams, which
were reported in the media almost every day, such as accounting fraud,
false-labeling, quality data falsification, and tax evasion. Such corporate
scams are still going on. I felt sad hearing such miserable news about
Japanese companies when compared with socially responsible Indian
companies. What is going on in Japanese companies? Did they lose business
ethics/moral and social responsibility? With regard to the question about
business ethics and social responsibility, the Japanese critiques and media
often quote Shibusawa Eiichi, a well-known entrepreneur and business leader
during the late 19th and the early 20th centuries in Japan. His philosophy
is based on Confucianism, and he emphasized an integration/harmony of
morality and economic activity. His argument on business ethics is still
effective for the current Japanese business leaders. I begin this essay by
explaining the mandated CSR and its background in India, followed by an
introduction of two Indian companies’ CSR initiatives. Then, I take
Shibusawa and his thoughts about business and society. Finally, I conclude
with a few remarks about business morality regarded as a universal value.

We hope that you will find the news interesting.

With kind regards,

Dr. Tamiko Kasahara
Editor-in-Chief of Japan MNE Insights

Tamiko Kasahara (Ph.D.)
University of Shizuoka, School of Management and Information
52-1 Yada, Suruga-ku, Shizuoka, 422-8526, Japan
TEL/FAX: +81-54-264-5435 (direct)
E-mail :[log in to unmask]

The Japan Academy of Multinational Enterprises (

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