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Us hopes to penetrate japan automobile market

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Samuel Spade Sederis, 5, has a blue horse. His friend Max Dworkin, also 5, has a frog. He drew it because the name ''sounded good. Only he writes it in Japanese. In the process they gain new insights into a culture long regarded as impenetrable to foreigners, particularly Americans. The program has a certain logic in this corner of the Pacific Northwest, where Japan is the largest foreign trading partner and, increasingly, is regarded as the key to future prosperity.

More than 130 Japanese high-tech and trading companies have moved to Portland in the past several years, providing millions of dollars in investment and thousands of jobs in an area where the old economic king, timber, is falling on hard times. But at a time when the U.

  1. When it comes to domestic auto sales, Honda officials acknowledge their relative weakness, but say their problems are not due to being a latecomer but to the closed nature of the Japanese market, in which large established companies control the distribution channels. Samuel Spade Sederis, 5, has a blue horse.
  2. They dip down to the floor, sliding into the gentle grasp of a robot.
  3. They dip down to the floor, sliding into the gentle grasp of a robot. The welded frames, after being layered in paint, pass into human hands.

All of the kids in Japan learn to speak English. You learn something about their trading patterns, why they do things the way they do.

Groups of Japanese educators have been steady visitors at the school, hoping to incorporate some of the practices back in Japan. Practical knowledge about Japanese business practices is still a bit in the future for the children at Richmond, where the immersion program starts with kindergartners and extends to 3rd-graders.

Each year the program hopes to add a grade.

  • Our corporate culture, which respects the freedom of the employee, might be more successful than others;
  • Suzuki himself rose through the ranks;
  • And little by little, they acquire a new curiosity about the people who populate that land across the ocean;
  • Only if I graduated from university could I become a manager;
  • Only if I graduated from university could I become a manager.

But it is not immune from budget pressures at a time when financially strapped school systems do not make foreign language education a priority. Local Japanese businesses pitched in with textbooks and learning materials.

  • Honda believes in rewarding creativity, no matter what the person's age or background;
  • Critics argue that Honda's globalism is simply a case of making a virtue out of a necessity.

Parents have flocked to get their children into the new program, which must turn away three of every four applicants, said Principal Renee Ito-Staub. Besides housing the pilot Japanese immersion program, Richmond functions as the neighborhood elementary school and as a Piaget-method magnet school for young children.

Some parents of infants already have inquired how to apply for a space in the Japanese immersion program, said resource teacher Deanne Balzer. The school insists on a six-year commitment in the program, from kindergarten to 5th grade, and parents must visit the school and agree to assist the effort. Because helping children with their homework takes on a new meaning here, some parents attend weekly Japanese lessons. Two-thirds of them have played host to Japanese exchange students.

  • Honda started setting up overseas plants in the early 1960s, and the company now has 65 plants in 34 countries, making products from portable generators and motorcycles to automobiles;
  • Honda's first US plant, which opened in 1982, already produces 360,000 units a year;
  • Five years ago, it took 3.

The program takes children from across the city. Parents know their children have a rare opportunity.


Magnet Japanese immersion programs exist at only seven other public schools: The principal and her two resource teachers, Balzer and Stephanie Vickers, literally shape the program as they go along, struggling to find scarce textbooks, tailor teaching lessons to state curriculums and juggle Japanese and English language scheduling to keep the students fresh for afternoon classes. Chief among their concerns is the difficulty in getting qualified and experienced teachers.

Two of their four Japanese language teachers are from Japan, the other two are Japanese-speaking Americans. The youngsters learn about Japanese customs, sayings and families. And little by little, they acquire a new curiosity about the people who populate that land across the ocean.

As he writes his essay, Kagan Young hopes to use his new skills someday in Japan, a place that already seems more connected to his life.