Business: Teaching the Teacher

Japan's genius for adapting foreign techniques is legendary, and the career of Tsuneo Inui, 64, illustrates why. Sent to New York City by a Tokyo bank in the 1950s, Inui studied the leasing boom then taking off in the U.S., and in 1964 paid $40,000 for advice and guidance from United States Leasing Corp. With that, and with loans from American banks (Japanese banks then saw no future in leasing), he opened Orient Leasing Co. in Japan. The dry-witted Inui proved such an apt seito (pupil) that last year Orient became the biggest leasing company in the world, posting profits of...

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