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On December 1, 2017, Shoko commented on Will Trump’s economic nationalism hurt Toyota? :

It was extremely interesting and engaging article!

I have been personally following the move of Toyota after being explicitly attacked, or threatened, by the new administration about Toyota’s original plan to build a new manufacturing plant in Mexico with a potential huge border tax. In August 2017, Toyota announced that it would establish a joint venture with Mazda to open a manufacturing plant in US by 2021. [1] Although on the outlook, it seemed that the threat from Trump played a key role to alter the strategy to change the location of the plant, I completely agree that the factors that influenced this decision also include rising fuel economy standards and local incentives. [1]

While supply chain disruption and higher costs urged by Trump convinced Toyota and Mazuda, my big question is if the Trump administration’s agenda can really make sure that local manufacturing companies do get the most benefits after the renegotiation of NAFTA. [1] If US manufactures are procuring supplies from companies in Japan, for example, wouldn’t they also suffer from higher price? Also, Toyota, has 10 plants across US already has positive track records to increase the employment for the local hires. Wouldn’t the administration need to factor losing one of the players who supports employment in US?

Doug Palmer, “the real reasons behind the Toyota and Mazda announcement of a new U.S. factory,” POLITICO, Published on Aug 4th, 2017. URL ( Accessed on Dec 2017

Very interesting lead on Boeing future growth strategy with the emergence of competitors!

I do agree that Japan and China which have been the key suppliers for the airline industry as a whole have been reverse-engineering and could become a threat to the company like Boeing in the future. One interesting fact I found was that while Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) will be the first customer that will start flying with Mitsubishi’s jet, 80% of the plane’s orders are from US regional airline companies including United, American and Delta. [1]

If i think about how Mitsubishi will differentiate itself from the airplane giant like Boeing, the biggest pitch from Mitsubishi’s jet is that its airplane will save significant amount of money driven by 20% of less utilization of fuel. [1] This could potentially allow Mitsubishi to attract more customers who would continue to be very conscious about the operating cost. I would be very curious to know if Boeing is interested in innovating for more cost efficient jets to compete head to head against Japanese jet.

One important factor to note is, however, that Mitsubishi only most likely start operating with the brand new jet in 2020. [1] Not only improving the financial structure, can Boeing really try to retain the key customers in the coming years? Can they also find the right suppliers with right capability to match with Boeing’s quality standard while driving cost efficiency?

Jon Ostrower. “Sharp-nosed Japanese jetliner could be game changer for U.S. flywers.” CNN Money (Paris), Published June 20, 2017. URL ( Accessed on Dec 2017

On December 1, 2017, Shoko commented on The Republic of Maldives is Sinking :

It is devastating to know we are under a threat to potentially lose such a beautiful country. I found this case extremely difficult to reconcile the best approach to save Maldives. The main reason is that short-term solutions such as reclamation of some islands as you mentioned in the article could be detrimental to the long-term sustainability as it causes some damages to the existing lands.

What would be the contingency plan for the Maldives if the islands cannot exist and allow people to stay anymore? Also, what would happen to the country’s residents if the relocation program is not accepted by the residents? Most importantly, what are the sustainable solutions so we do not have to see any islands facing the similar problems and how is the country going to fund it?

On December 1, 2017, Shoko commented on Amazon – In Prime position for the last mile :

Very interesting article. It is fascinating to learn about the latest technology that Amazon has been leveraging to revolutionize the way customers think about online shopping. I also agree your recommendation not to overpace to implement every technology half-cooked in exchange of neglecting the regulations and safety/privacy concerns.

One thing I am very curious to know further is how all the technology that enables Amazon to essentially re-create the whole supply chain ecosystem will change the relationship with all the manufactures which sell their products though Amazon. Would such technical advancement alter the power dynamics between manufactures and Amazon? Also, does it alter the product mix Amazon will focus on in order to further drive profitability while improving efficiency?

Very interesting findings! My immediate question after reading this is that how are they leveraging technology to compensate the loss and the volatility of production volumes from climate change? Knowing that wine production is very susceptible to weather change, I am very curious to know how the owners invest more for R&D for the future innovation in order to supply the sustainable volumes. For example, could we create a specific environment where we create ‘perfect for grapes’ temperature and humidity for different types of grapes to be ready for any types of weather. As this is going to be long-time investment, could multiple growers be unionized and develop the disruptive innovation to the wine industry?

On November 30, 2017, Shoko commented on Can Macy’s Stay Competitive? :

I completely agree with your proposal that Macy’s should start thinking about a new way to provide values to its customers. According to Office for National Statistics, May 2016, 75% of global retail sales growth is from online sales while the offline in-store sales growth has been stagnated at 2-3%. Clearly, any retailer cannot continue to win in the market unless it integrates offline and online channels into one omnichannel model. Consumers with mobile phone are searching for products at multiple channels.

At the same time, I do believe physical space still matters a lot. The positioning of physical stores has been altered from just selling direct to consumers to increasing high visibility to boost up awareness of the brand, educating brands, and importantly allowing consumers to connect directly with the brand. Now, the question is, how can we create a compelling new holistic experience for customers by integrating online and offline channels?