Japanese Business Ethics

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    ETHICAL CHALLENGES FACINGJAPANESE BUSINESSES:

    HISTORICAL AND CONTEMPORARYOBSERVATIONS

    Masato Kimura

    Since the end of the cold war, globalization based on theIT revolution and the increasing amount of cross-border tradehas fundamentally changed the operating conditions forworld businesses. In Japan, such change has promoted inno-vation, but it has also stretched to the limit questions of prop-er ethical conduct in the pursuit of profit. This article willoffer several examples of the ethical challenges facing Japan-ese business, and recommend a new ethical framework inlight of the reforms proposed by and ethical values of Shibu-sawa Eiichi in establishing modern Japanese capitalism in thelate nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

    Key words:business ethics, social responsibility, profit, global-ization, corporate governance reform

    Introduction

    The purpose of this article is to clarify and implement a new

    ethic for Japanese business in accordance with the KeidanrenCharter for Good Corporate Behavior.1 The analysis offered willconsider, from a contemporary viewpoint, the vision and activi-

    ASIAN PERSPECTIVE, Vol. 29, No. 1, 2005, pp. 135-155.

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