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Japan Inc. needs to fail more often

Lifetime employment is increasingly a relic of the past in Japan. (Photo by Hirofumi Yamamoto)

A few years ago, a Japanese bank sent a confidential fax to a counterparty. But an employee entered the wrong fax number, sending the precious document to an elderly lady instead. She was so indignant about what she regarded as the bank's carelessness that she complained vigorously -- so vigorously that her complaint ended up on the desk of the bank's chief executive.

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