A little bit about exchanging business cards in Japan. Stack up on your cards if you are coming over to do business over here:
According to sources at Japan Airlines, a company wide announcement will be made tomorrow regarding departments that were slated to be dissolved yesterday. Employees in departments likely to be highly affected by the restructuring are also expecting more details regarding their fates to be announced at the same time. While the entire restructuring plan is far from decided, JAL plans to cut 8,600 jobs, around 14% of its workforce. Today, Seiji Maehara, the new DPJ Minister for Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, said bankruptcy is not an option for JAL.
As JAL begins announcing who will go and who will stay, if a healthy chunk of this 14% does not come from the entrenched bureaucracy (which it likely will not), those left behind will be tasked with doing not only the same amount of arguably pointless paperwork, but also their job as well as those of several former coworkers, all why being asked not to request to be paid for overtime. On the other hand, it is not difficult to imagine how a streamlined, efficient airline could navigate the perils of swine flu scares, prodigious pensions, fluctuating fuel prices, and the ever-present threat of terrorism.
Fortunately, Maehara also intends to review the feasibility of JAL’s soon to be released plan. Hopefully under the new DPJ administration, a sustainable plan will be implemented.
Contributor Bio: Steve has been splitting time between the US and Japan for the past 10 years or so and is now a post doctorate fellow at a large, lumbering University in Tokyo, where he gets paid to play with dirt.
Japanese investment bankers are abandoning lifetime employment contracts in favor of an opportunity to earn far higher amounts of money through performance-based bonuses:
Nomura has persuaded half of its jobs-for-life Japanese investment bankers to give up their local contracts and adopt more volatile western deals in the mould of the Lehman Brothers operations it acquired last autumn.
In his first foreign interview, Kenichi Watanabe, Nomura’s chief executive for just over a year, told the Financial Times that “more than 50 per cent” of the 1,600 investment bank staff in Japan had filled out registration forms for Lehman-style contracts that would cut their basic pay and make them easier to sack – in exchange for potentially higher performance-related bonuses.
[hat tip to Joe]
When US Senator Chuck Grassley told the press he wanted to see failed American CEO’s making Japanese-style public apologies for their mistakes, he probably wasn’t thinking about this kind of apology:
The man delivering the dogeza apology in the video is President Tomomasa Fukui, the president who led study abroad company Gateway 21 into bankruptcy. As he bows and apologizes, angry students tell him the apology is meaningless and they want their money back. Knowing that his company was about to go under, Fukui had continued with promotional activities for Gateway 21’s study abroad programs, collecting some 9 million dollars in fees from about 1,300 prospective students. Instead of using that money to arrange study programs for the customers, Fukui spent it on business expenses. It is unlikely any of those customers will see their money returned, so bows and apologies aren’t exactly going to make them feel better.