AN UNCONTROLLABLE YEN

JAPAN PLEDGES ANEW TO REIN IN ITS CURRENCY, EVEN AS THE HIGH PRICE BRINGS BENEFITS TO MANY COMPANIES

THE SUPERSTRONG YEN SHOULD DRIVE up the price of parts that Japanese businessman Toshinori Minohara makes for office copiers and force him out of the market. But Minohara is turning the currency's power into an opportunity: instead of expanding in Japan, he recently opened a plant in the city of Dongguan, China, where cheap wages will lower his manufacturing costs. "Nowadays I show my buyers a part that costs 1,500 yen," says Minohara. "But very soon we will be making this in China, and it will cost 1,000 yen. That's how we keep our customers coming back."

While nimble executives like...

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