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Electronics Exec Urges Japanese Students to Act More American

September 19, 1992

SALEM, W.Va. (AP) _ The chairman of Mitsubishi Electronics of America told a group of students, many of them Japanese, to loosen up and act more American.

Takashi Kiuchi told students and faculty Friday at Salem-Teiyko University not to be afraid to ″socialize and mingle with Americans″ when they land their first jobs. He said the Japanese are ″easily perceived as arrogant.″

About half of the private school’s 650 students are Japanese.

″When the whole topic of Japan bashing surfaced, we wondered how people could think so poorly of us. We were all amazed at the lack of American support,″ Kiuchi said.

″Why were we so alone? Because we isolated ourselves, choosing to focus on business and parochial matters,″ he said. ″We failed to become an accepted part of the local community.″

″You need to make a conscious, visible effort to participate outside of the work place,″ he said. ″I encourage my Japanese employees to go out and get involved in the community and do all kinds of things.″

He also suggested that Japanese students develop better ″humor, wit and sensitivity″ and not spend as much time playing golf ″because you don’t socialize as much.″

Kiuchi has headed Mitsubishi, a manufacturer of big screen televisions and other consumer electronic equipment, since 1990. The Cypress, Calif.-based company employs 4,500 in 30 U.S. locations and generates sales of more than $3 billion annually.

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