Many of the country's ''structural'' difficulties cannot be overcome by the government or by increased consumer spending (''Japan's real crisis,'' Special Report, May 18). For example, Japanese companies--and Korean ones, too--still focus on market share rather than profits. Such tactics are not a plot of Japan Inc., but rather a business model dangerously out of date. If a competitor brings out a new product, a Japanese company seems compelled to release a similar product, saturating the market and bringing down profits.

To attain future profitability and financial market strength, Japanese companies need strategy and focus, as well as such things as an effective tax environment. As for the large Japanese savings pool, if those savings figures include pension and insurance funds, then it just may be that those savings are a mirage with huge latent losses hanging over Japan.

Mark Foley
Kawasaki, Japan

Updated June 11, 1998 by bwwebmaster
Copyright 1998, Bloomberg L.P.
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