Not from the US? this is your thread! : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Hi Folks,

Y2K is a global problem that has the potential to affect every person everywhere.

This is a thread for people outside the US. Tell us about yourself. When did you find out about Y2K? What are you doing about being prepared? How would you rate the state of preparedness in your country? (1-10) How would you rate the impact of Y2K on your country? (1-10)

What about me.. not important but if you insist see Gayla's "What about you (revisited)".

Your contribution will confirm the International scope of the problem..

-- Bob Barbour (, October 02, 1998


I have lived and worked in Japan for 6 years (for one of the world's largest companies) as an engineer and global business consultant. As a 45 year old executive with a career built on rational problem solving, I am faced with an irrational situation that is almost too horrible to talk about. To understand the Japanese mindset and interpret the true nuance of the language and culture is somethings Americans are not good at. 1. 100% of all government surveys and corporate statements are for saving face and "image" only. This does not mean that they are lies in the Japanese image of lying. In the western image, they are false statements. In the Japanese image, they are hopes for the future. To discuss bad news is culturally equivalent to suicide. Y ou can read the "whys" of this in the near future from other articles I'll be writing about the Japanese approach to y2k-only the Japanese would make a cartoon of a smiley face on a computer screen and call it y2k awareness. Suffice it to say that effort is being made by major utilities, telecommunications, international transportation and international banking to maintain the external image of Japan. The problem is that Japanese industrial and manufacturing strenght is based on automated production to minimize direct material costs. The major manufacturering executives are still in denial and assesments of automated systems have only started recently-this year. 2. As electronic and industrial parts makers to the world, many Japanese companies are falsely issuing "no problem" compliance statements to any customer who asks for component compliance information. I have personally witnessed a major industrial automation and control manufacturer give an international customer a "fully compliant" report on a 7 year old building automation system without ever testing the system. The Japanese phrase "mondai nai" or "no problem" is the traditional Japanese business style. of answering any request from a customer. If problems happen later, it is considered an opportunity to build a better relationship with the customer by solving the problem together. However, you must never let the customer worry before the problem happens...I know you think I am kidding, but I am deadly serious. So, the resulting problems for global manufacturers using Japanese electronic parts, components, and relying on JIT (Just in Time) delivery are going to be in for a global shock when the Japanese manufacturers are unable to deliver just in time because of the breakdown of their own networks of vendors who have also failed to remediate their automated production lines. The volume of PCBs (Printed Curcuit Boards) delivered to American companies by Japanese vendors is enormous. These cannot be manufactured by hand. They will not be delivered on time and it only takes a few days without parts to stop a complete industry (i.e. Automobile ). Remember, the current Minister of Finance has stated that the first priority to improve the Japanese economy is to begin clearing the massive debt. He said the same thing when he was Prime Minister in 1993. Things move very slowly here when action is required, but many Japanese companies will not make it to the year 2000 because the global market forces at work now will force the Japanese economy to implode before then. The lack of understanding of the importance of the Japanese economy to the global economy is nothing short of stupidity. Sorry for the bad news. If you are a glutton for punishment, you can read some soon to be published articles that explore this dismal topic further

-- P. N. Gauthier (, October 03, 1998.

Thank-you, P.N., we appreciate all of the information and look forward to more!

-- Gayla Dunbar (, October 03, 1998.


I'm very interested in the Japanese view on Y2K. I have a brother who has lived there for 8+ years, working as an English teacher. He usually comes home at Christmas time, so I will be talking Y2K with him this year, and he'll probably be here on 1/1/2000, if things are still holding together. We have discussed Japanese culture many times, and I understand what you are saying. We recently talked about how hard it is for Westerners to negotiate with the Japanese, simply because courtesy is so important to them. This means that it's very hard to get a straight answer - not that they are being evasive or difficult, just proper.

I look forward to your future posts. I'd also be interested in hearing your personal plans, if you're willing to share them.

-- Mike (, October 03, 1998.

Sobering, thank you.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, October 03, 1998.

Hi P.N.,

Your post gave me an idea of how to move forward from an impass. I especially liked the possibilities of "the working together towards a solution". Now maybe if that view can be shifted to working forwards towards prevention, in the same way as steps are taken with building codes, we could be onto something.

-- Bob Barbour (, October 04, 1998.

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