Traverse City Record-Eagle


Japan Switching To Ventures

Terra Motors President Toru Tokushige speaks during an interview at its headquarters in Tokyo. Despite having some of the developed world's least hospitable conditions for starting a new business, Japan's near-monolithic "salaryman" culture of guaranteed lifetime employment at a household name corporation is facing erosion. Ventures are sprouting again after a decade marred by some high-profile failures and a striking aspect is their focus on manufacturing. Facebook and Google they are not. They are Sony and Toyota, all over again - but with young fresh faces. Tokushige said one sign of progress for startups is that these days they have no problems recruiting quality people. A few years ago, all he could hire were what Japan categorized as the losers, those who had no hopes of getting hired at an established company. As Sony Corp. and other mainstream brands lose their luster, Terra is gaining a chance to shine. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)