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Cataler provides catalyst for LEDA’s Japan Lunch N Learn

Lincoln County has the 35 degree latitude in common with Japan however; Japan is 13 hours ahead of us on the clock, and known as the “Land of the Rising Sun”. Japan is the only country in the world with a ruling Emperor, His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Akihito is the 125th Emperor of Japan. Japan has the oldest continuing hereditary monarchy in the world.

Beverly Gilbert, Cataler North America GM of Human Resources and General Affairs was our presenter. Special guests from Cataler North America included Mr. Kageyama and Mr. Kawai and interpreter Matt Creech.

Japan has the 3rd largest economy in the world with GDP of $4,338 trillion dollars. Their exports are $765.2 billion and import $636.8 billion. The top two countries are China and USA. Japan’s population has nearly 128 million. It is the 10th most populated but only the 61st largest.

Japan’s business culture revolves around respect. Proper etiquette and being polite are a way of showing your respect to your business peers. Companies develop mutual beneficial relations with other companies they respect. A sign of respect is the customary bowing and presentation of their business cards.

Gift giving in Japan is a robust part of their culture. Cataler North America presented origami cranes to each participant and showed them how to make them stand up by just a puff of air. On display LEDA had two of the gifts that were presented to them in 2001 upon successfully recruiting Cataler to Lincoln County.

Beverly shared the gratitude that Cataler and the country of Japan has for all the relief that has been supplied by the United States under operation “Tomodachi” which means friend. 20,000 U.S. military members, along with 140 U.S. aircraft and 19 U.S. naval vessels have aided in the relief, search and rescue missions after the devastating earthquake and resulting tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, 2011.

A time for questions and answers followed with many participants wanting to know more specifics about education in Japan, life in Japan, how the earthquake has affected businesses in Japan, what kinds of training do their employees go through, who besides Toyota do they supply their products to, what other products besides the catalytic converters do they manufacture, who are their competitors?

Mr. Kageyama and Mr. Kawai provided answers very eloquently in English and with some assistance by interpreter Matt Creech; which added very much to the culture and language interests of the participants. The participants also enjoyed a touch of Japanese cuisine; rice, stir fry, sweet carrots, and for dessert daigaku-imo (sweet potatoes in honey and sesame seed garnish).

Rhonda Hunter, Director of Operations at LEDA said “We provide the Lunch N Learns as a way of promoting a better understanding of our international companies locally and other companies abroad through the educational and informational aspects of experiencing and learning about their various homelands through them or others deeply steeped in their culture and economy through firsthand knowledge or study.” “We appreciate Cataler North America sharing about Japan with us today”.

This is the fourth in the series; other previously experienced were Canada, Brazil, and Germany. Where will we go next?