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Opinion

Can Japan's trading companies remake themselves?

Only if they diversify management to boost global competitive advantages

| Japan
The traders could be trailblazing in hiring women returning after a career break for their families.   © Reuters

The Japanese general trading companies are peculiar creatures. Belonging to the dying species of classic conglomerates, they are powerful and complex, spinning their commercial webs across all sectors and corners of the world.

But the traders -- Mitsubishi Corp., Mitsui & Co., Sumitomo Corp., Itochu, Marubeni, and their smaller rivals -- are running into growing headwinds.

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