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Four decades after its "Look East Policy" deepened ties with Japan, Malaysia is increasingly seeking economic cooperation with China.   © Illustration by Hiroko Oshima
Asia Insight

Malaysia eyes China 40 years after it 'looked east' to Japan

Nation faces COVID, 1MDB and value chain hurdles on path to high-income status

P PREM KUMAR and CK TAN, Nikkei staff writers | Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR/SHANGHAI -- When engineers and mechanics at Malaysia's largest car manufacturer need a breather, they head to the "dojo."

The Japanese word, which typically describes a hall for practicing martial arts, lends an air of gravitas to what is essentially a break room for workers at Perodua, officially Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua. Perodua makes liberal use of the term at its employee training center, too. There's a "sales dojo," a "parts dojo," a "service dojo" -- each focusing on different skills, with a nod to the influence of Japan and part-owner Daihatsu.

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