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    Updated on Tuesday, April 23, 2002 7:26 AM

Baseball star is Japanese graduates' ideal employee


TOKYO - Move over, Mr Salaryman. The younger generation's company employee swings a baseball bat, not a briefcase.
A recent survey found that 52 per cent of new graduates from colleges and high schools considered Major League baseball player Ichiro Suzuki to be the ideal company employee.
With the collapse of lifetime employment and the seniority system in Japan, many young employees no longer swear unwavering allegiance to their employers.
Instead, they view the company as just 'a place to gain knowledge and learn skills that can be applied to the real world'.
The survey by the Japan Management Association polled 583 new employees who attended seminars it conducted on basic business etiquette.

Role models are changing among office employees in Japan, from that of the loyal salaryman to that of the self-made baseball hero Ichiro Suzuki. -- AFP

More than half of the respondents who looked up to Mr Ichiro said they admired the way he 'developed professional skills and sought a place where he can make the most of them'.
The second most popular answer, chosen by 17 per cent of the respondents, was 'a talented manager like Kosaku Shima', a leading character in a cartoon.
However, the typical salaryman still has its supporters among the young generation of employees.
According to the survey, 13 per cent said their ideal was 'a salaried worker who can complete assigned work on time'.
Seven per cent chose 'a researcher like bacteriologist Hideyo Noguchi who pursued his research subject and published successful results'.
Another 6 per cent said they wanted to emulate 'an entrepreneur like Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates', while 4 per cent said they idolised 'an effective executive like Carlos Ghosn of Nissan Motor Co.'. --Yomiuri Shimbun/Asia News Network


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