The way Japanese executives think about company responsibility

I don’t know what percentage of Japanese executives feel this way, but last week, I’ve heard it directly from the director of major Japanese companies, like I did from many Japanese executives before.

We are responsible for providing livelihood for the citizens.  We have to think of ways to offer meaningful jobs for as many people as possible.

He also said, at a time like now when businesses can not function fully in such way,  the government should provide for the citizens.

I remember clearly of what the executive I truly admire said to me 5 years ago when I left Steelcase and became an independent contractor.  He was an excellent electronics engineer, respected scientist, but at that time, he was responsible for a manufacturing division of a giant Japanese national global company.   He reprimanded me for just going independent and not creating an organization that provided jobs to people.  He said, I too would rather just do the things I enjoy, work just with interesting and smart people.  But you and I have the responsibility to provide for those who do not have such capability.  A short time later, another well known Japanese national global company’s executive said similar thing to me.

I’ve grappled with this idea for a long time.  Growing up in the US, I was taught that you are responsible for your own life.  This is just one of the cultural differences.  Do not do anything to disturb other people, tolerance to each other’s behavior because we all do foolish thing sometimes.  I live in Japan, I have kids living and growing in Japan.  But Japan is a part of this world.

Being courteous to each other make the days easier.  Working for both the Japanese and non-Japanese clients, trying to provide the best solution to what they seek is not easy.

2 thoughts on “The way Japanese executives think about company responsibility”

  1. We write about similar issues. I’m looking at the world from a bi-cultural American point of view, mostly in the workplace.

    Check out my blog if the spirit moves you




    1. Thank you for your comment, Ted! I replyied to your comment to your e-mail, but forgot to publically thank you for your thoughts to my article. 🙂 Fuji


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