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Business

Japan slow to attract foreign executive talent

When a non-Japanese manager is appointed to a top position at a large Japanese company, it is news and prompts speculation in the business press about whether Japan Inc. is finally opening up to outsiders.

Ghemawat

     The most recent event was the naming of Issao Mizoguchi, a Brazilian of Japanese descent who has worked in Honda's South American operations for nearly 30 years, as the company's first foreign operating officer. Other recent events of this sort include the appointment of a number of senior foreign managers, including Takeda Pharmaceutical's announcement in November of its next president (Christophe Weber from France, who is to take office in June), and the naming of a foreign director (Mark Hogan from the U.S.) to Toyota Motor's board in March 2013. Other appointments that made the headlines were at Sony (Howard Stringer from the U.K.) and Nissan Motor (Carlos Ghosn, who is French-Lebanese-Brazilian).

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