‚XDWhereabout of the Tie-up

Hayatama Steel America (HSA), the U.S. subsidiary of Hayatama Steel, has its office on the 54th floor of Chrysler Building in New York City.
Chrysler Building, 319m high, at the intersection of 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue, was built in 1930. It is in Art Deco, and the symbol of Midtown. There are PanAm building and Grand Central Station near there.

Getting out of the express elevator on the 54th floor and straight ahead the hallway, there appears the doorplate of "Hayatama Steel America, Inc."
By the entrance door inside is the front desk of Ms. Tanamy, working since New York Office days.
The front is a large room of 3 staffs. They are Nachi of General Affairs, Kinomoto of Technology, and Iwashiro of Sales. Iwashiro hands over his job to Miwasaki and is going back to Japan.
The right side room is the President's office, used for reception, too.
A good view is widened from both rooms. Empire State Building can be seen near.

The regular staff meeting every Monday is held in the President office from 8:30 to 9:00 am. While Nachi chairs the meeting, each staff has a report and the weekly policy is decided.

After Miwasaki took up his post, the sales promotion of steel-casting frogs (Mn-rail) in North America was added to the subject of the meeting. In the result, the meeting was often extended after 9:00 since then, because President Shirahama thought it as an important business in the near future and every staff fully understood his idea. At each meeting Miwasaki had to report every changing situation as simply as possible in order for every HSA staff to share it.

HSA was developed as an independent company two years before from Hayatama Steel's New York Office. But needless to say, HSA could not expect profit easily.
Even within the range of their assumption, it had continued the red since its foundation and had no good promising view.
The head office of Hayatama Steel regarded its red as a necessary cost, but the president and all staffs of HSA were searching for some good business.

They noticed the steel-frog business just at the time.
Is it possible for them to promote selling the material in North America by the cooperation with a local assembler?
Their optimistic conclusion was "It will work out all right if such factors as quality, delivery and price are satisfied."

President Shirahama considered the matter as a rare and unexpeced chance. Based on this idea, he let Miwasaki work only for the steel-frog business, not involved in the steel-rolling business even though he actually took over it from the predecessor. Shirahama did that business in person on the sly.

Miwasaki had received a telex from Shirahama, just before he left for HSA. It said,
"I am going to meet the vice president of L. B. Foster at their head office at Atlanta, Georgia, a couple of days after your arrival. You will go there with me. We will play golf with him, too."

Miwasaki accompanied Shirahama on the day. Shirahama was much closer to L. B. Foster than he had expected. Shirahama, in the plane, told him that it was not merely a courtesy visit.
He added: This is not his first visit there. The vice president and he has enjoyed dinner in New York, too, and they understand each other.
Miwasaki did not know yet that the relations between the two companies had become this much. He stared at the president's profile, taken aback.

Bob Cattura was present at the meeting. He was in charge of this business at LBF in Cincinnati.
Miwasaki already knew him. But why, Bob had not yet informed him of anything related to Shirahama and L. B. Foster in spite of his knowledge. Whether he was aware of it or not, he looked sorry next to the vice president.

When urged to tell them what was going on around him with the document, Bob finally got smiled.
According to his enthusiastic report, their business talks with several railway companies were making good progress, so "I wish to cooperate with Mr. Miwasaki to follow it forward, with this meeting as a starting point."

The next morning, the four of them played golf at Atlanta Athletic Club, one of the best golf links in the United States.
Three of them seemed surprised at Miwasaki's skill, and he felt at home seeing their pleasant plays. Shirahama looked to be satisfied strolling through the rough.
Back to the delayed problem of "which local assemler" to tie-up with. Direct business of HSA with LBF or business with ABX through Iche Trading.
Miwasaki was transferred to HSA getting off to a start while Hayatama Steel had put the decision of the problem on the back burner.

Tonda, Managing Director and Division Manager, was Emperor in both name and realily in Steel Casting Division. Therefore as long as the business was connected with the division because of the production of steel-casting frogs themselves, HSA could not resist refusing the Tonda's power.
The voice from heaven "No cooperative partner shoud be accepted other than ABX" was carried sharply with a variety of arrowheads from inside and outside of the division a long way to HSA aiming at Miwasaki, with the carrot and the stick. The carrot of "Don't worry about your future" was surely a lure, and the stick was "You would be cut down with a single stroke of my sword if you might disobey me."

On the other hand, the encouragement of President Shirahama of HSA was extraordinary. For Shirahama, since this business was a long-waiting promising matter, he could not easily part with it.
As he was making surer and surer of his expectation, he, also Director of the parent company, requested the support of the executives and HSA sympathizers of Hayatama Steel, and was never beaten.
He took the offensive saying "If we go the way of Emperor's idea, we will lose the precious chance of overseas progress of Hayatama products."

The fight of a storm in a teacup at first became the virtual localized war between the group topped by Emperor Tonda, Managing Director, and Shirahama's HSA handling Miwasaki in the shade, and it was intensified more and more.
"Would you stop such a non-fruitful fight?"
The request of Ichie Trading reached roundabout to Minoshima, President of Hayatama Steel, the chief commander. Minoshima was the star of hope of the company long waited for since the founder in the beginning of 20th century, and with a good popularity from the inside and the outside.

Yelled at by the chief commander like "Can't you put down the silly talk of as low as a manager?", not only Emperor Tonda but also the other executives could not stay silent.
Vice President Hidaka, supporting Tonda, made a trip to the United States with Export Manager, and visited HSA for questioning. Hidaka, bald headed, had been the top of steel rolling field with confidence of the industry and the trading companies.
What in detail did they discuss? Miwasaki was not allowed to attend the crucial meeting between Hidaka and Shirahama.
At lunch the next day, Hidaka asked gently to Miwasaki over the round table, "Are you working well for steel rollings, too?" It was what Miwasaki did not want to be asked. Export Manager sitting next to him talked to him quietly, "Managing Director Tonda is really in trouble. He brought you up to this level, so you have to think of him. He told me he would take care of you."

As soon as the vice president returned to the head office in Nagoya, he sentenced the following to the people involved and suggested to the president.
"Managing Director Tonda is right. HSA should not hastely pursue profit. HSA must not disturb our relationship with the trading companies and the surrounding circumstances."

-----
Now Executive Director Ohshima, supporting HSA, moved. He was the top of the production system of the whole company.
He made a trip to the United States with the Assistant General Manager of Export Dept., and visited HSA pretending to have found time during other businesses. He naturally must have held in mind the will and messages of the overseas-oriented people including Director Minabe, Investigation Manager.
He used to make and breed Chita Plant, state-of-the art and large-scale all over the special-steel-rolling industry as Assistant Plant Manager. The silver hair did not hide his age, but his leadership was alive. He was a man of action. He was also deeply concerned with the birth of HSA not less than Vice President Hidaka, and he did not forget to have recommended Shirahama as President of HSA.
Shirahama had a welcome dinner party at his home in Mamaroneck for Executive Director Ohshima one night, and the staffs including Miwasaki were present there.
He reported what was going on with HSA, and did not fail to emphasize Miwasaki's support about the business of steel rollings saying diplomatically, "Miwasaki is helping me very much."
Well aware of the report with a doubt and satisfied with it, comfortably drunk, Ohshima told the staffs that he expected them to develop HSA to a reputable company, and that they, topped by Shirahama, would do their best as he would take every responsibility.
Miwasaki used to be his staff when Ohshima was General Manager of Investigation Dept. 10 years had passed since then.
Ohshima told Miwasaki pleasantly, "You are just in your element. Keep up the good work."

Immediately after his return to Japan, Ohshima suggested his idea in favoritism to President Minoshima, and informed HSA of his understanding with the president, saying, "Do your best as you like."

"Which side was a sound argument" could not be judged easily, but HSA supported by Ohshima seemed to be cooler than Emperor at the point of the independent business of Hayatama Steel.
The other directors seemingly indifferent to this matter until then were sensitive to the situation change, and they began to act as if they were supporters to the advantageous side.

It was late fall. The phone rang before dawn at Miwasaki's home in Greenwich, Connecticut.
He and his wife Tsubaki were naturally asleep in bed. The phone was still ringing, so he picked it up and said "Hello, ...."
He could easily imagined that the other side not speaking properly with drunken voice was Managing Director Tonda. Probably the phone was from some Japanese-style restaurant in Nagoya, Japan.
"This is Miwasaki. Who is it, please?"
Not answering Miwasaki, the phone connection was cut after meaningless breathing for a while.
It must have been in the evening Japan time. Tonda might have wanted to tell Miwasaki his ultimatum with carrot-and-stick.

Meanwhile, the following notice by the name of President Minoshima was sent to the departments involved.

"The local partner of the Mn-rail (steel-casting frog) sales advance to North America will be LBF.
Hayatama Trading will work for this business between HSA and LBF."

Hayatama Trading was a 100% subsidiary of Hayatama Steel dealing specially with steel, and had overseas branches at Los Angeles (HTLA), Korea and Singapore.
When the parent company Hayatama Steel developed its New York Office to the local corporate HSA, its teamwork with HTLA in the United States was strengthened, and they were closely related to each other by the hotline of telefax and telephone and the meetings once three months since then.

But why was it necessary for HTLA to work for this frog business as an additional partner? Wasn't it the same-case channel with Ichie Trading between Hayatama Steel and ABX? In the case of Ichie Trading, it was so familiar with the circumstances of North America that it would be helpful to Hayatama......
This ambiguous settlement might have some relations with the fact that Hayatama Trading had a trouble making very little progress in the business overseas, espcially in the United States.
Now that Vice President Hidaka was unofficially decided to become President of Hayatama Trading, the top management might have thought it should be the gift to him and also should become a neutralizer for the infight among the executives involved. In addition, it would contribute the consolidated accounting result of Hayatama Group.

Moreover, the supporting executives emphasized the following prospective merits.

* The geographical situation of HSA on the East Coast and HTLA on the West Coast, the similarities and the differences of their business. Such factors could yield multiplier effects.
* In the result HTLA got involved in the tie-up with LBF, HSA would have put up a close feeler to the market along the West Coast.

Miwasaki decided to get along with the above optimistic idea. He thought mostly about the merits as a staff of HSA.

The personnel change of the executives in Hayatama Steel in spring the next year could be said in a large-scale.
President Minoshima remained in office as expected, but 10 executives were changed.
Vice President Hidaka became President of Hayatama Trading as planned.
Tonda lost the job of Managing Director, and was transferred to the subsidiary Ida Steel.
Executive Director Ohshima was promoted to Vice President.
Besides, Director Shirahama could not be promoted to Managing Director. He was a little disappointed, judging it as the result of "It takes two to make a quarrel."
It seemed to the staffs of HSA that the trouble of the Mn-rail business in North America had a considerable influence to the personnel change of the executives.
Ichie Trading did not stick to such infighting of the other company. It had pulled back out of the frog business before the executive change in Hayatama. There was a rumor that ABX was pursuing the tie-up with a steel frog company in the United Kingdom, but Ichie did not seem to be interested in it at all.

One year after Miwasaki had been transferred to HSA, the frog business in North America finally came to be regarded as one of the promising export items of Hayatama Steel.

Part 9-1 Reading: 11' 04"

Part 9-2 Reading: 14' 12"

< Part 8 Part 10 >
Preface, Main Characters
1. Becomes a Member of Society
2. Work and Private Matter
3. At Penn State
4. Realizes the Limit
5. New World
6. Road to Export
7. Detour
8. Infighting
9. Whereabout of the Tie-up
10. As a Resident Staff
11. Family and Health Condition
12. Falls Down
13. Then
Close