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Local businessmen younger than mainland counterparts

Date Posted: 2006-03-03

Okinawa’s business leaders are younger than those in mainland Japan, and they live longer.

A new study shows that owners or presidents of Okinawa companies are 56.4 years old on average, two and one-half years younger than those on the mainland. The survey by Teikoku Data Bank’s Okinawa branch polled 10,187 company owners.

Questionaire responses showed 18.3% of Okinawa company presidents are university graduates, and those graduating from overseas universities rank in the top seven in the nation. Mainland Japan company presidents were listed as 25th. A pollster analyst says this suggests Okinawan corporate leaders are more accomplished at dealing in international business.

Another poll area showed those owning individual companies valued at ¥10,000,000 average 56.2 years of age, while those running companies worth ¥1,000,000,000 are typically 64.9. Farmers lead the list of business owners in the survey. Their average age is 84.5, while those operating funeral businesses are only 33.4 years old.

Women account for only 520 corporate leadership positions, and average 57.4 years of age.

Okinawa businesses tend to be more stable in top management than companies on the mainland. Changes of presidents each year account for only 2.1% in Okinawa, while on the mainland the top leaders rotate 8.2%. A factor, says an analyst, is that Okinawa companies tend to have father-son teams, with the father running the company as president until well into their 80’s. Fathers love to work, was an analyst’s explanation.

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