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When It Comes to Working for the Japanese, Old Stereotypes Are Neither Useful Nor Valid

July 17, 1988

I read your "Working for the Japanese" with much interest. But one subject in particular captured my attention. It was about the career expectations of Americans working for Japanese companies. I strongly believe that the opportunities for American workers and managers are much more favorable than generally portrayed in your articles.

The Mitsubishi Electric America companies employ more than 3,000 Americans in a balanced variety of occupations. More than 70 are in key decision-making positions where they make vital contributions to important production, marketing, sales and other executive operations. We have 36 as vice presidents and above, some of whom have worked for our companies for over 18 years. Our largest organization within MEA is steered by a nine-member senior committee. Five out of those nine are American executives.

Our long-range goal is to become a self-standing, American company, relatively free from operating decisions in Japan. Indeed, many of our products, from big-screen televisions to cellular telephones, are manufactured right here in the United States. More and more, we are successfully developing exports sent from the United States to Japan and the rest of the world. Our plans for the future call for further expansion and upgrading of U.S. facilities. Accordingly, the career opportunities for all our employees are excellent and filled with promise.

TAKASHI KIUCHI

Cypress

The writer is the chairman of Mitsubishi Electric America.

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