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Japanese Companies Now Outsourcing Themselves

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This headline from the NY Times caught my eye: Many in Japan Are Outsourcing Themselves.

Usually when a company chooses to outsource labor, they, you know, hire someone else in some other country?  Not so in Japan!
"Under fierce pressure to cut costs, large Japanese companies are increasingly outsourcing and sending white-collar operations to China and Southeast Asia, where doing business costs less than in Japan. But while many American companies have been content to transfer work to, say, an Indian outsourcing company staffed with English-speaking Indians, Japanese companies are taking a different tack. Japanese outsourcers are hiring Japanese workers to do the jobs overseas — and paying them considerably less than if they were working in Japan."
The reason for this bass-ackwards approach to outsourcing is actually pretty fascinating, especially for those of us who are particularly sensitive to all things customer-service related. 
"Even foreign citizens with a good command of the Japanese language, they say, may not be equipped with a sufficiently nuanced understanding of the manners and politesse that Japanese customers often demand."
Hence, hiring a native, and shipping them abroad.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.