President & CEO Mogi is ACCJ’s 2003 Person of the Year

The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) has named Yuzaburo Mogi, President and CEO of Kikkoman Corp., as its 2003 Person of the Year, in recognition of his pioneering investments in the U.S.

Some thirty years ago, Mr. Mogi, a descendant of the company founders, suggested that Kikkoman build a soy sauce plant in Wisconsin. Very few Japanese companies at that time had established overseas plants. Kikkoman’s efforts to secure a site for the plant in Wisconsin were met with fierce public opposition, but Kikkoman managed to gain local approval with assurances that the plant would not create pollution and that soy sauce production could co-exist with farming. Mr. Mogi’s plan succeeded, based on his dictum to “assimilate into the local community; do business locally; and actively participate in local activities.” As demand grew, Kikkoman eventually constructed a second plant in California in 1998.

In his acceptance speech before the ACCJ on February 10, Mr. Mogi said, “The Wisconsin factory has been an unqualified success . . . serving as a model for later plants in Singapore, the Netherlands, Taiwan, California and China.”

Kikkoman has worked to localize its management and marketing styles around the world, he continued. “We always do our best to be a good corporate citizen in the countries where we operate.”