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Sloan students to visit Japan's business leaders

Thirty-five Sloan students will spend spring break in Japan, meeting with business leaders in the public and private sectors to get a first-hand look at Japanese innovation and technology strategies.

Students will travel to Kyoto, Nagoya, Hakone and Tokyo between March 22-31. The delegation will meet with top management and officials of Toyota Motor Co.; NTT-DoCoMo; Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI); and Hitotsubashi University's Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy.

The students hope to observe Japan's economy by interacting with Japanese businesses. "I am more interested in old economy than new economy projects, particularly in health care," said Abdullah Almarzouq, a graduate student in management.

Trip participant Scott Burns, also a graduate student in management, wants to look at innovation processes in Japan. "I'm especially interested in seeing how the general population is using NTT DoCoMo's new 3G service and then talking to the top management about issues that they are currently facing," he said.

In preparation for the trip, MBA students explored through classroom sessions issues faced by the Japanese economy and industries.

Sloan School Professor Eleanor Westney, whose current research focuses on the internationalization of R&D, with an emphasis on Japan, addressed the challenges faced by the traditional business systems and practices in the Japanese corporate infrastructure.

Professor Rudi Dornbusch, Ford International Professor of Economics, expressed candid and prominent views regarding what will become the next stage in the Japanese economy.

The trip is sponsored by Bain & Company, Booz Allen Hamilton, CSK, e-solutions, Globis, IMCA, Kirin and Nomura Securities.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 13, 2002.

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