TABLE 1 Timeline of MNC Joint Task Force Activities

August 1991

Committee on Japan and Committee 149 agree to establish MNC Joint Task Force

April 1993

Japanese working group launches activity

June 1993

U.S. and Japanese co-chairmen meet

November 1993

U.S. working group meets

December 1993

U.S. and Japanese co-chairman meet

May 1994

Joint Task Force meets

November 1994

Co-chairmen report at Academies-JSPS meeting

October 1995

Working groups complete reports

May 1998

Publication of final project report

and technology development activities, the United States and Japan have a particular interest in examining the rights and responsibilities and success factors of MNCs in an age of growing technological interdependence.

The Japanese working group focused on a series of meetings with representatives of U.S.-based companies in Japan and Japan-based companies with overseas operations in the United States. Because successful MNCs are more willing to discuss their experiences and provide insights on the causes of success and failure, the Japanese case study activities focused exclusively on successful companies. The discussions with company representatives covered the obstacles that these MNCs encountered in doing business abroad and the management factors that contributed to their eventual success. From the experiences reflected in these case studies, the Japanese working group extracted the basic necessary conditions for MNC success in terms of strategy and management. These are discussed further below and explained in detail in the Japanese working group's report.

The U.S. working group took a different approach. The broad issue of the rights and responsibilities of MNCs had already been set by the 1991 Academies-JSPS meeting. The U.S. working group considered the wide experience of participants on both sides and reasoned that the most useful product of such a joint study would be a fairly brief report defining the key issues, examining various approaches and examples of MNC best practices, stating broad principles regarding government treatment, and suggesting policy-related actions by MNCs and governments that would enhance reciprocal benefits.

Although the project has not resulted in a full-scale joint report, the activity has produced useful results. The individual working group reports represent the perspectives of U.S. and Japanese experts on crucial issues concerning MNCs and the globalization of technology development activities. In the view of the U.S. participants, the interaction with the Japanese working group that did occur through the project made an important contribution to the perspectives reflected in the U.S. working group report. In particular, the reactions of the Japanese participants prompted the U.S. members to more clearly define the concept of equal

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