The Frontier of Japanese American Society:
Exclusive interview with Yukuo Takenaka

Japan Connection Magazine.

Yukuo Takenaka, President and CEO of Takenaka Partners LLC, was featured in an exclusive interview for Japan Connection Magazine. Below is an excerpt of the article.

“As you may know, due to the technological advancement, the world has become much smaller allowing what was once impossible to become a reality. Though Japan remains an island country and there are certain advantages and disadvantages in being an island country, the internationalization of Japanese business has been slow to date.

“For example there is a Japanese company which 80% of profits are made through international market and 20% are made domestically. As CEO who is responsible for leading the company, he must be more attentive on markets which make 80% of the profits and give 20% to the remaining domestic markets. However, he and most of the officers of the company operate out of the headquarters in Japan. They are often not in touch with the profit producing markets overseas. The tendency is to pay more attention to the domestic market closer to them.

“Staying in Japan gives them comfort and their thinking and management styles remains Japanese. They may think of the importance of the 80% market, but their thoughts are tied to the home base in Japan and the process of internationalization lags behind. They must understand what globalization means and get rid of the island mentality. They should go out into the global stage and learn to communicate with people around the world.

“I had to accompany my parents in my teenage years because my father was ordered for duty in the United States by his company. Not knowing English, it was a daily struggle in the new environment, but through it two conclusions came to my mind. First was that there must be a reason why I was brought to the US, perhaps mandated by God. I started to think seriously of my future and what I can do here in the United States. Another was to join the mainstream American society, rather than putting myself in small local Japanese community. I decided to become assimilated into the American culture. Since I was born with Japanese identity, it meant to maximize myself in another culture and become a person with dual identity.

“Today, unlike many Japanese who live here suspended in both cultures without roots I am a product of a biculture which I acquired through knowledge, dedication and purpose in life.”

Continue reading the full article here.

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