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June 23, 2014
Go Home, Gaijin
Too many foreigners in your drug company? Outsiders being put into positions of power and influence, threatening the entire firm's culture? That's the objection that many Takeda employees seem to have to the company's recent tendency (unusual in Japan, to say the least) of bringing in many non-Japanese hires at all levels. The Financial Times broke the story in the English-language press:
In a letter to Takeda Pharmaceutical, 110 former executives and individual investors questioned the company’s appointment of non-Japanese to several senior positions.
“The company’s globalisation is a wrong globalisation. It should be globalised as a Japanese company. However, from the top to the bottom ,there are hundreds of non-Japanese working in the company in Japan,” said Yujiro Hara, a former head of Takeda’s real estate subsidiary who represents the group.
“We say it was acquired by a foreign capital. We cannot accept it,” he added. “Three main executive positions, finance, HR and purchase, are taken by foreigners.”
This is not a large group, in terms of shares held, but they're certainly a vocal one, and they may well represent what some others are feeling. Japan is its own place, maybe more so than anywhere else in the high-tech industrialized world, and this is a fine example of it. Try to imagine a letter like this in the US!
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