Ethics in Business

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  • Topic: Mexico, Japanese diaspora, Government of Japan
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Ethics in Business - Carlos Kasuga – Yakult – Mexico

Management and Supervision

Winter 2012

Any Nikkei leader in the Americas either personally knows or has heard of Carlos Kasuga because of his achievements as a businessman in Mexico, or because of his role in the Nikkei Pan-American Association(Matsumoto, A. June 2, 2011)

Carlos Kasuga Osaka has run Yakult Mexico for more than 20 years. He graduated in accounting at a Mexican School called ‘Escuela Bancaria y Comercial ‘ in Mexico City.In addition to his many other activities, he is President of the International Life Sciences Institute, and Vice-President of the committee for the Centennial Celebration of the Japanese Migration to Mexico. He has traveled all of Mexico, to Peru and to Columbia speaking about his philosophy, and ethics in the business, based on Japanese-style, Total Quality and Productivity.(Alasraki, C.2009) Carlos Kasuga is Director General of Yakult Mexico. He is founder and President of the Japanese Mexican School, Founder and Past President of the Pan-American Nikkei Association, and Past President of the Mexico and Japan Association. His parents migrated to Mexico from Japan in 1930.(Matsumoto, A ( June2, 2011) In 1959, his father sent Carlos Kasuga to Tokyo, to learn how to read and write Japanese. When he was there, he attended the first international Machine Fair held in Tokyo, Japan. One company made plastic beach toy sand lifesavers. He had been on the school swim team, and he had never seen anything like that in México!(Matsumoto, A(June 2, 2011) He talk to the owner of the company and told him, he wanted to bring these toys to México. The owner told him that these items were prohibited for import into México. He asks Kasuga to buy the machine and make them there. Kasuga had his doubts, what if the machine breaks down in México? He said, “Don’t worry, we’ll teach you how to fix it” (Kasuga, C (2007) Kasuga wrote his father about the machine and the idea for the business. Soon after, someone from the lifesaver company came to see him. His father had sent a letter to the owner, saying that his son’s Japanese language, reading and writing was good enough, and he has to report directly to work at the factory. For Kasuga been- a Latino!- going to work at a Japanese company was really difficult! All the hierarchy, having to arrive early, sweep the factory, wear a uniform, this was a culture shock! In Mexico, those jobs were for the people without an education; nobody with a degree would clean the factory or use a uniform! (Kasuga. C. (2007) However, this was one of the most important experiences of his life. He learned the importance of discipline, order and cleanliness. The owners of the company were the first to arrive and the last ones to leave. Everyone used the same bathroom. If the owner of a company has a clean bathroom, and the one of the workers is disgusting, breeds resentment and hatred among the workers. After working at the Japanese factory Kasuga bought two machines and brought them back to México, and started his own business making lifesavers in México.He also brought the Japanese philosophy and ethics.(Kasuga, C 2007) Carlos Kasuga has brought three things from Japan for the Mexican children: inflatable beach toys for fun, The Liceo Mexicano, Japanese school for education, and Yakult for health. When Carlos Kasuga was founding the Liceo Mexicano Japanese, He traveled back and forth to Japan, looking for support. The Mexican President at that time was Luis Echeverria, and He gave Kasuga letters of introduction to the Japanese government. When Kasuga met with the congressional representative, he told the Congress representative about the problems in México, including unemployment and intestinal problems caused by the water. The Congress man said to Kasuga to bring Yakult to México. In Japan, women sold yakult door to door. People left money in their mail boxes, and the ladies came by and left the Yakult. “This method...
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