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Highlights: September 2005 Issue

Complexity Reigns, But Growth Nevertheless: The Sumitomo 3M Story

With over 30,000 different products on sale in Japan, ranging from display materials and film, lighting, and office products to HVAC systems, medical devices and stethoscopes, Sumitomo 3M is a model of complexity.  So managing growth in Japan requires discipline based on customer input as well as the matching of corporate resources to the most attractive market opportunities.  Especially when you face off against some of Japan's dominant industrial companies -- Nitto Denko, Toyo Ink, Furukawa Denko, Lintec, Noritake, Daikin Industries, Sekisui Chemical, Nippon Carbide, Mitsubishi Rayon and Nichiban just to name a few.  "I sometimes forget how difficult it is to explain our business to outsiders," notes Sumitomo 3M's president.   Nevertheless, this article reveals how one of the world's premier technology companies manages everything from the launch of its customized I-Note Personal Prints via convenience stores, to execution of daiko henjo and its advertising in Nikkei Monozukuri

A Specialist Offers Advice: "A Direct Mail Vacuum Creates Opportunities for Foreign Marketers"

Anyone dealing with Japanese consumer direct marketing lists (mailing lists), either as a list manager, broker or user, has surely heard about the strict privacy law recently enacted and how it threatens to lock out the Japan market.  But whether you are running a mail-order wine-of-the-month club out of Australia or are a list manager for men's haircare products in Canada, the law actually creates tremendous opportunities for foreign marketers anxious to sell to Japanese consumers.  This month our specialist, a Japan direct mail veteran, explains how your company can take advantage of this still very vibrant, and very Japanese, marketing channel.

Japan Insight: Get the Scoop

Swedish firm Hoganas challenges Japan's local giants in the market for powdered metal used in the automotive business; Nintendo finding it rough to build ex-Asia Pokemon team; Etc.

Changes in the Financial Landscape Mean It's Time to Acquire: The Grant Thornton Japan Story 

It's not enough for the Japan head of global accounting firm Grant Thornton that his firm is among the top four 'second-tier' firms in Japan.  That's because his goal is to make his firm the leader of Japan's second-tier.  Tax, auditing and accounting provide most of Grant Thornton's Japan business today, but the advent of Sarbanes-Oxley-style rules requiring audits of financial control systems in addition to financial statement audits is just one of many trends the firm is looking to for future growth.  There's also big business to be had among shinyo kinko, shinyo kumiai and labor banks (rodo kinko).  And acquisitions of several more of Japan's numerous audit firms are certain to follow as well. 

From the Editors

Let Us Appreciate How Far We've Come...

Plus much more...

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