Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Japan Number 3: No need to panic!

Just adjust your target and your forces

Today, "there is no Japanese company in the top ten, the Toyota Motor Company is Japan's biggest, ranking Number 32... No one believes that Japan will ever again recapture the Number Two position that it held for so long, and most Japanese have become more concerned about simply maintaining their own families' prosperity... Most economists cite enduring problems with domestic consumption. People who are worried about salary cuts or unemployment tend to save their money, rather than spend and stimulate the overall economy."

Is the Kan administration trying to do something? Or has it bowed as many others to the markets and the central banks' instruction and pretending of the contrary?

"... there is a tremendous appetite for companies in China that are involved in consumer goods and consumer discretionary, as the standard of living of the Chinese consumer is thought to be going up at a fairly brisk rate.... Consequently, we are very positive on the Chinese market. We're also very positive on the Japanese market because, believe it or not, Japan actually supplies a lot to China. Japan has also spent a couple of decades really trying to get its economy moving again. China's growth might be a decent catalyst to help the Japanese economy as it deals with a very weak dollar and a very strong yen. Exporting into China versus the West could potentially help Japan." (Advisors Asset Management quotes by Wall Street Transcript)

Reporters' notes
Wall Street Transcript

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"You learn to be a leader by acting," Carlos Ghosn.

It is everywhere on twitter and facebook : "Leadership is demonstrated at the moment of need. You learn to be a leader by acting, by doing." This is a famous comment from Carlos Ghosn Renault CEO & Chairman and Nissan President and CEO. Looks like his methods work pretty well:

EN: "Renault is aiming to nearly double operating margin to more than 5 percent of sales in 2013, as part of a new growth plan that targets Brazil and Russia as key markets. The French carmaker, partnered with Japan's Nissan, said on Thursday it wanted to sell more than 3 million vehicles in 2013 using overseas and emerging market growth to offset a flat European market. Renault achieved a 2010 margin of 2.8 percent on sales of 2.63 million cars and light vehicles."

FR: La crise est derrière nous, oui. Cela veut dire aussi que la construction automobile, du moins pour certains constructeurs, sera durablement profitable, et surtout durablement profitable à cause d'une croissance très forte des marchés mondiaux malheureusement à l'extérieur de l'Europe et du Japon.

This and more, including the alleged spy case story within Renault. The latest Carlos Ghosn interview on RTL here:

Reporter's notes
Sources: Agencies, RTL, Facebook.

Reporting from Lhasa, a talk with the Dalai-Lama

Joel and His Holiness the Dalai-Lama during a lecture gathering in Tokyo. Here we talked about my past visit and report in Lhasa, Tibet. Chinese authorities had allowed me to walk free in Lhasa and around. During this week of exclusive and selective work, I could spend a day all alone in the Potala palace with the monks. Certainly, it is one of the most extraordinary happenings in my Foreign Correspondent's work. "I visited your place quite recently compared to your last stay in town," I told his Holiness...

Something came through our eyes, then an intense emotion sparkled his eyes for a few seconds, and there was this moment I shall not be able to forget for my whole life, the Dalai-Lama was marveled and rejoiced with deep concentration. Then, we made this image with our friends.

Frankly speaking, I needed time to be able to write about my report to Tibet and about the Dalai Lama. This holly man is sincere and I wish everyone may spend time with him beyond complicated political processes.

Tibet... It was a long time project, I succeeded into it after preparations and a lot of obstacles and refusals. People who were the most helpful were my friends in Beijing, Hong-Kong elsewhere, and they are from various authorities, from media based in Beijing to governments and security. Yes. Talk to all. Get enough convincing powers. Respect people, always.

The only obstacle I had was from the tourist agency in Lhasa, they did not allow a single person, especially a journalist, I am told by a staff of a major hotel there that I had been denounced to the secret police and that they would put me in jail for 20 years.

The director of the hotel, a European fellow, told me that police came in my room and saw my press data, microphone, recorder, camera, data. "Maybe you should leave Lhasa now because army and police people in Lhasa are not the same as else where in Beijing. Maybe your Beijing friends won't be able to help you here if you are arrested or if you have a sudden accident..." Then some people arranged my departure with an escort and messages and papers...

When I mentioned this directly to the Dalai-Lama here, quite some time after my Tibet reporting, His Holiness simply said: "I and Tibetans are very encouraged by the excellent work made by the European journalists."

The interesting thing is that my Chinese friends, because they know me, never got into reprisals or violence. They just expected a fair and balanced story. They know about my sensitivity about free reporting and access to information. They also are perfectly aware that I am not working for any obscure office or agency.

When meeting some Chinese ambassadors or other VIPs, I was told the history of Tibet and China is a long complicated process and sometimes, as written in a newspaper by an Chinese ambassador "All our young friends do not know exactly all the facts about Tibet". One Chinese diplomat told me in private that they trusted my visit there as I would see by myself and report as I always did. By telling the truth.

I shall write one day about how this journey to Tibet was made possible, who protected and who tried to kick... and how a journalist and a foreign correspondent based in the Far-East could spend time in Lhasa at a time of riots in a forbidden environment without being embedded nor used by any other institution, organization, or people. Luck? Yes, but not only good luck. The thing is: Just don't ever give up your most important project and draw a plan, based on local patterns of thoughts...

Last but not least, I was told recently from some reliable sources in China, and this motivated my writing of this amazing encounter, that Beijing government has a desire to help, and will have to come with some beneficial adjustment towards all of her people and symbols. What does China has to loose indeed here actually?

Let's hope so.

"In the sky we see a dove.
The dove means peace, the dove means love...
If only PEACE were understood.
What couldn’t be now, in the future could."
(in UN Peace Poem)