Corporations: The Original Japanese

When he approached Bell & Howell one day in 1951 to suggest that the Chicago firm should serve as his U.S. distributor, President Takeshi Mitarai of Tokyo's Canon Camera Co., Inc. got a disappointing hearing. Bell & Howell President Charles H. Percy freely admitted that the 35-mm. Canon which Mitarai had brought with him was a fine piece of craftsmanship. But although Japanese products had already begun to earn a better reputation abroad. Bell & Howell wasn't interested. Explained Percy bluntly: "'Made in Japan' means cheap, shoddy goods here."

Last January,...

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