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Seminar Examining Japanese Manufacturing Philosophy and Its Impact on Automotive-Industry Innovation, Set for Nashville

auto manufacturing

NASHVILLE, TN-September 28, 2012:-On Wednesday, October 24, 2012, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) will present a luncheon and seminar entitled, "The Mindset of Monozukuri: Enhancing US-Japan Collaboration Through Manufacturing Innovation & Japan Update: Beyond the Recovery of the Great East Japan Earthquake."

“The Mindset of Monozukuri: Enhancing US-Japan Collaboration Through Manufacturing Innovation & Japan Update: Beyond the Recovery of the Great East Japan Earthquake.”

The seminar will be held at the Nashville Airport Marriott in Nashville, Tennessee, from 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Industry leaders from the automotive, manufacturing and trade communities in the U.S. and Japan will examine how Japanese Tier-1 supplier companies have collaborated with their North American counterparts through the shared mindset of Monozukuri, the spirit to produce excellent products and the ability to constantly improve a production system and process. A concept new to many North American suppliers, a full understanding of Monozukuri has proven to be a key component in the establishment of long-term supplier collaboration and quality expectations. Seminar attendees are expected from throughout the region, including Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.

A special luncheon presentation from Tatsuhiro Shindo, Chief Executive Director of JETRO Chicago entitled "Japan Update: Beyond the Recovery of the Great East Japan Earthquake" will present the latest policy updates in Japan's recovery efforts from the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011, and how Japanese automotive manufacturers have returned to near-full or full production through the spirit of Monozukuri.

The seminar portion of the program will feature a keynote presentation from Kazumi Sato, President of Yorozu Corporation, Yokohama, Japan, who will present the philosophy and culture of Monozukuri at Yorozu's operations in Japan, and how that has been integrated into its global operations. Yorozu America Corporation is headquartered in Morrison, Tennessee.

A panel discussion, "How to Sustain US-Japan Supplier Collaboration," will feature the following speakers:

  • Ron Brooks, Manager, Special Projects, at Bridgestone Americas Manufacturing Group, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Fred Gehring, General Manager of Canadian Operations, North American Stamping Group (NASG), Portland, Tennessee.
  • Dave Thomas, Plant Manager at Keihin IPT Mfg., LLC, Greenfield, Indiana.

A question and answer session will follow the panel session, moderated by Glenn Stevens, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA).

The seminar will feature simultaneous translation (English and Japanese).

The program will be followed at 5:00 p.m. by a networking reception.

Program details:

Date: Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Time: Registration 11:30 a.m.; Program and Luncheon begin promptly at 12:00 p.m.

Location: Nashville Airport Marriott, 600 Marriott Drive, Nashville, TN 37214

Registration/cost: The cost of the luncheon seminar is $50. Advance online registration is required for this event through the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Nashville Chamber of Commerce. For registration information, visit Nashville Event; or contact Paige Anderson at 615-743-3063 or

Event Organizers: JETRO Chicago, Japan-America Society of Tennessee, Inc. and the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.

About JETRO: JETRO has provided information and support to American companies entering the Japanese market for more than 54 years. Through a local network of six offices in the United States, JETRO provides a wide-range of services, such as timely market intelligence, extensive business development support, and relevant business events, all designed to encourage business partnerships between American companies and Japan.