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  Subject:   Dr. Gerhard Fasol, President & CEO, Eurotechnology Japan K.K., "New Opportunities Versus Old Mistakes: Foreign Companies in Japan's High-Tech World"

  Sponsor:   US-Japan Technology Management Center

  Date:   Thursday, October 28, 1999

  Time:   4:15pm - 5:30pm

  Location:   Skilling Engineering Auditorium [look for it in a campus map][new]

  Event URL:   http://www.stanford.edu/~viji/

  Sponsor URL:   http://fuji.stanford.edu

  Costs:   Free

  Contact:   viji@leland.stanford.edu

Part of Our Public Lecture Series:
                 Free Admission * Light Refreshments


Japan is the world's second largest national market, and 10%-20% of the
world's internet, telecom (incl. mobile) and ecommerce markets are in
Japan. Today, nobody seriously thinks that Japan can overtake the USA
economically or technologically. Nevertheless, Japan is continuing to
produce important new technologies, an example being the Gallium Nitride
Blue LEDs and lasers, and more.

Therefore most high-tech and dot.com companies soon discover that their
most important foreign market, foreign competitor, technology licensing
partner or investor is Japan or Japanese. But soon they also discover
that it is one of the most difficult countries to do business in or with.

It is now clear that the traditional Japanese approach of government
orchestrated industrial development, dominated by large corporations,
financed under government direction by banks which do not understand risk
analysis and wasting capital is no longer working at all.

The same is true for technology development: recent government
orchestrated R&D projects, such as the fifth generation computer project
failed spectacularly, and the recent Japanese invention of blue LEDs and
lasers was not done in any of the large corporations' central research
labs, Tokyo University, or other famous institutions but by the previously
little known company Nichia far away from Tokyo.

I argue that an "Old Japan" and a "New Japan" coexist at the moment. In my
view, Japan has many strengths - one could argue that "New Japan" is
strong despite the persisting dominance of "Old Japan". Could a pattern
emerge where the "Old Japan" fades into irrelevance? Or will the "Old
Official Japan" manage a transition into a "New Official Japan"? What
would the consequences be for foreign high-tech companies?

The talk will discuss my views and personal professional first-hand
experience both with the "Old Japan" and the "New Japan", and why in many
cases we recommend that foreign companies at least tune into the "New
Japan" if not more.

Further, the talk will outline new opportunities in Japan which have never
existed before, such as acquisitions of Japanese corporations by foreign
corporations on a meaningful scale, changing human resource management
patterns, change in attitudes, and the emergence of "New Japan"-type
corporations. Important consequences of changed accounting laws will be

The talk will also give examples of typical mistakes foreign companies
make in Japan.  Several typical "old mistakes" will be illustrated.
Foreign companies far too often fall into well known traps, and waste
precious time, money, good-will, reputation and brand-value. Knowing about
these frequent "old mistakes" and knowing a few Megabytes of essential but
often overlooked Japan-information can save a lot of time, money and

A few other issues will be discussed: the "Pro-Patent Big Bang", and that
venture capital exists only in name but not in spirit.


Gerhard Fasol is the Representative Director (President) of Eurotechnology
Japan K. K. Eurotechnology which plans, supports and implements
international high-tech business projects bridging the US-Japan and
Europe-Japan interfaces in the areas of electronics, opto-electronics,
telecommunications & internet, and intellectual property rights (IPR)

Dr. Fasol has been working professionally in or with Japan since 1984 and he
has worked continuously in Japan since 1991. Previous to coming to Japan
in 1991, he was Laboratory Manager and Chief Scientist of the Hitachi
Cambridge Laboratory (in Cambridge, England) in its start-up phase. He was
Associate Professor in the Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Department of Tokyo University, and he was the first foreigner to complete
a Japanese Government Sakigake-Research Project.

He is the inventor or co-inventor of several Japanese patent applications.

Gerhard Fasol was educated at the University of Cambridge (Ph.D.) and the
Ruhr-University (Bochum) (Diplom-Physiker). He was Member of Scientific
Staff at the Max-Planck-Institut fuer Festkoeperforschung in Stuttgart.
Subsequently he was Lecturer in Physics at the Cavendish Laboratory of the
University of Cambridge, Teaching Fellow and Director of Studies at
Trinity College (Cambridge), and in 1988 he was promoted to a tenured
faculty position at Cambridge University.

 Event history: Submitted by barrkat on 25-Oct-1999;

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