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The Reckoning by David Halberstam

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36. GREATHOUSE IN TOKYO

THE SUCCESS OF JAPANESE industry had made Takashi Ishihara’s job infinitely more complicated than Katsuji Kawamata’s had been when he was Nissan’s president. Sometimes, speaking of his predecessor to his friends, he would say that Kawamata had had the easy years, when the Japanese were poor, when loyalty was easier to summon, and when Japanese goods were regarded with such disrespect that the Japanese were nearly invisible to their foreign competitors—Kawamata, he would say, had been there when no one was watching. He, by contrast, had taken over just in time to deal with the reaction to that success, when protectionism was on the rise in the West, when the Japanese were no longer seen as weak little brothers who were ...

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