Friday, 13 April 2007

American James Press, 60, has been appointed to the board of Toyota Motor Corp "to bolster its international standing" "amid growing fears of a political backlash for its booming U.S. sales", reports Yuri Kageyama, an Associated Press journalist. The story is 570 words long. Kyodo News' story on the Japan Today Web site, is only 70 words long.

There is no coverage of this interesting story on the Web site of The Japan Times or The Daily Yomiuru. The same AP feed that appears on the CBS News site appears on the Mainichi MSN site although, at 390 words, it is much shorter.

The Asahi Shimbun has its own 180-word report of the event. It says that Toyota is "seeking to add an international flavor to its management".

The AP story is reproduced in numerous American outlets.

"The number of board members was increased to 30 as part of Thursday's changes," writes Kageyama. Its members previously numbered 25. So the addition of Press was accompanied by an increase in the number of Japanese directors. Typical.

Nevertheless, it shows that Toyota is sensitive about how it is perceived by Americans at a time when the major U.S. automakers are experiencing a shattering decline in new car sales.

The kicker on the Financial Times site says: "Toyota has named Jim Press, head of North American operations, to its board, reinforcing its campaign to burnish its credentials as a solid US corporate citizen." I'm unable to see how they covered the story because it's behind their subscription barrier.

An online bio shows that Press began moving into his new role several years ago: "In June 2003, Press ... was appointed to serve in a global advisory capacity as managing officer for the parent company Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan."

Press gained a bachelor of science degree in business administration at Kansas State College (now Pittsburg State University) in Pittsburg, Kansas. He has four children.

1 comment:

Yuri Kageyama said...

We plan to running more stories about Toyota including the appointment of Press, which will be approved at a shareholders meeting later this week. And so please stay tuned. Toyota is such an important story to cover for an AP reporter in Japan. Thanks for your interest in our work.