Winners Against Tough Odds

Some American companies succeed in selling to the Japanese

For decades American firms have complained that a formidable array of government regulations, tariffs and other import barriers in Japan are as difficult to fathom as a formal tea ceremony, effectively blocking business there. Nonetheless, many U.S. companies have flourished in that environment, playing by the rules and somehow still coming out ahead. IBM Japan's 1985 sales might reach $2.7 billion, up about 20% from last year. Schick claims 70% of the safety-razor market. This year U.S. firms will export $25 billion worth of products to Japan. Proclaims Herbert Hayde, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Tokyo: "American manufacturers...

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