By on March 14, 2011

High profile German companies not only shut down their Japanese operations like the Japanese colleagues. They are also recalling Germans back to Germany.

Parts manufacturer Bosch has 36 locations with 8,000 employees in Japan, writes Automobilwoche [sub]. After checking the installations, Bosch found only slight damage, and production was mostly restarted. However, Bosch asked their German employees whether they want to stay or go home. 200 already left, together with their families. “It’s up to our employees whether they want to stay or not,” said a spokesperson of Bosch. That offer most likely does not extend to Japanese employees.

Daimler has a commercial vehicle subsidiary in Japan, Mitsubishi Fuso with 12,836 employees. The operation remains closed this week. Families of German employees have been flown out. Those on business trips will not go back to Japan. Daimler established a crisis center. “Whether employees will be airlifted out of the crisis region remains unclear,” says Automobilwoche. It goes without saying that only Germans will be evacuated.

Continental will airlift 100 employees and their families out of the region as a “precautionary measure.” The airlift will be undertaken by chartered plane. Automobilwoche [sub] says that “international Continental employees, but no Japanese” will be pulled out.

BMW has recalled all “its German employees” from Japan, says Automobilwoche [sub]. The company will assist is Japanese employees in finding safe shelter in the south of Japan.

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17 Comments on “Germans Retreat From Japan...”

  • avatar

    It goes without saying that only Germans will be evacuated.
    And yet you said it. Your clarification of the ‘return home’ offer not extending to Japanese employees is even more bizarre – do you suggest that Bosch give them an option, and let them choose between remaining in Japan, or returning to Japan?
    I can’t tell whether there’s some kind of message intended here, or if it’s just clumsy wording. It goes without saying that only TTAC editors can answer my question.

  • avatar

    It may sound a bit irrational, but as a fellow German, I can at least relate emotionally. That’s what not being allowed to play outside as a kid due to fallout rain from Chernobyl can do to you…

  • avatar

    How do, e.g., French companies handle that?

  • avatar

    What is going on at TTAC? Between the bus accident disaster and the pointing out of the speed enforcement camera sign (which had zero to do with the accident or the now 15 people who died) to a stream of insensitive pieces to the Japanese disaster to the suggestion that the Germans aren’t doing enough for their Japanese employees because…what…they aren’t offering to send them home to Japan where they live?

    Are you really suggesting that foreign companies are responsible for the relocation of native employees in the event of a disaster?

    Wouldn’t foreign powers exiting their citizens as quickly as possible help Japan deal with the situation better by not having to worry about foreigners in this disaster? Isn’t rule number one in a disaster, political event, etc. is to get your people out first, ask questions later.

    I applaud the commitment to employee safety that Bosch and Benz has made – now show me a story where only German nationals working there are being removed and say Austrians are being left behind – then I’ll get it. The Japanese need to care for the Japanese.

    • 0 avatar

      Must I really say it? As a manager, you are the captain of the ship, the pilot of the plane. You don’t run away at the slightest whiff of trouble. You stick with your people.

      I hear stories of Japanese going to work on bicycle, because train service is degraded. At the same time, the chiefs take a limo to the airport. Cowards.

    • 0 avatar

      As a former search and rescue professional, on a disaster of this scale, the best thing a non-citizen can do is leave.

      Your use of the word, “coward,” is beyond off base – we aren’t talking about soliders, consulate employees, or medical doctors doing a heart transplant walking out of an surgery suite, we’re talking about ordinary bean counting citizens. I’m willing to bet the “non-cowards” have the option to stay behind.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s not exactly fair, Bertel.
      In times of crises or emergency, expat employees and/or their families get to go home, especially if they’re non-essential.  On the emergency management side, I say it makes things easier.  Unless they’ve got a role to fulfill in ameliorating the situation, they’re a burden.  Send them home.

    • 0 avatar

      @Signal 11: Absolutely correct. I hardly think this is cowardice. Unless they are contributing to the relief effort, they are potentially a liability, especially if conditions worsen. Get them out of there, one less thing for the Japanese to deal with. It appears they have enough on their plate. Good luck and Godspeed to the Japanese people.

  • avatar

    To whom?
    Just another question: Who is supposed to manage those factories, after the retreat of the Super Managers, or where they useless/functionless  from the very beginning? I am missing style and spirit.

  • avatar

    There is a joke making the rounds today in Tokyo.
    What do Americans do when there is a blackout? They loot and riot.
    What do French do when there is a blackout? They make babies.
    What do Japanese do when there is a blackout? They complain when it doesn’t come on time.

  • avatar

    “were” instead of “where”, of course. Useless bunch, obviously (presumably overpaid).
    Or. as Signal11 put it: ” Unless they’ve got a role to fulfill in ameliorating the situation, they’re a burden.  Send them home.”

  • avatar
    Andy D

    Dont  go away mad, just  go  away. Get  out  of the   way and  stop using  resources  that could  be   better  used  some  other  way. Things  will  get  sorted  out and you can  go back  to  your  office.

  • avatar

    It´s not just Germans and German companys, the Swedes are leaving also.
    And i´m sure that most foreigners are leaving, if they can.

  • avatar

    Every natural disaster is different, but in my calculus, if you’re a foreigner who is not a context specific asset, you’re probably a liability.  While it might not be the most correct immediate post emergency response, sending your non essential expats home is never the wrong response.

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