Dedicated to Satoshi Murata, my human rights lawyer
I am Kamal Sinha. Did my B.Tech. in electrical engineering from IIT-Bombay. Nandan Nilekani was a classmate and was a good friend. Here is my story of how Mitsubishi Electric Company using coercion and lying took me to Japan from America and harassed me incessantly. More complete story (original Kindle version) is accessible under Mitsubishi Story tab right above. The version on this page is short but latest. Readability of this page is much better and is good enough for most and I would recommend you to stick to it. The tab In short above has a few key documents, gist of the case in short, for those who are busy. The tab ACCJ Interview is American Chamber of Commerce in Japan’s interview with me. Legal tab takes one to prestigious Legal seminar, read by every lawyer in Japan. My interview is in Japanese and will take time to translate.
Here I will be brief. Hope after reading here you will realize that Japan and Mitsubishi are NOT India’s friends and are fooling Indians. If not, your life or your loved ones’s destines are result of your karma, and who am I to interfere.
Hints for the uninitiated at the end.
I met F. in Tennessee and after finishing her studies she went back to Japan in Summer 1986. She wanted me to come to Japan and I promised her that I will do so after obtaining American green card. I had read very bad things about its racism and was very reluctant to go to Japan.
The American green card process unfortunately got delayed inordinately.
Meanwhile,through an animal rights group met an American woman in the States who shared my lifestyle, dietary habits and political views. I started dating her. Thought it would be heartless to break up with F. on phone and thought of meeting her in Japan to break up once I visited her in Japan after getting my American green card.
In 1988 around August my Third Petition for employment based green card was approved. I informed F. who was pestering me to come to Japan that soon I will have an interview and will get the green card.
She was 29 that time. In many societies women come under severe pressure when they are near 30. I guess she got the pressure from her family and her mother, and lost her mental balance. She wrote she was going to cut her wrist and asked me to leave everything including American green card for her love. I refused, then she asked me to send her my resume so that she could arrange for an interview when I came to Japan. I didn’t think Japan gave jobs to foreigners and thought it was best, after her failure in securing an interview for me, she will be more amenable to my not coming to Japan.
I prepared a resume. Job objective was ”Investment Analyst.” I mentioned CFA, CFP and Society of Actuaries exams I had taken and had passed. And planning to come to Japan only after receiving my US green card, in misc. section mentioned that I have a US green card.
I had absolutely no interest in computer jobs and specified her to send out my resume only for finance jobs.
When I started at computer works, Dr. Shinya Fushimi of Tokyo University, head of Computer Works currently, told me that 16 top officials had signed papers to hire me, a process so rare, that he had looked at my resume carefully but couldn’ figure out why?
Recruitment Process – Permanent job – “Pioneer”
After a week or so F. contacted me to inform me that her uneducated father saw a System Engineer job in Japanese newspaper and sent out my resume. Mitsubishi Electric decided to offer me their permanent job as a regular employee, first time in their history, and emphasized that I would be treated just like a Japanese which was not the case with Caucasians, The head office contacted her and continued doing it periodically till the end. I didn’t didn’t want System Engineer’s job and wondered why they offered a permanent job. (Later my lawyer told me that Japanese companies as a policy don’t offer permanent jobs to employees from America and Europe. I guess permanent jobs are mostly offered to non-Caucasians and developing countries like Indians, where the presence of a Japanese wife to control the Indian is a must.)
They called me for an interview in Japan (to check if I had a green card I guess) and then its local CEO Kawasaki, at California, called me to come and meet him for an interview. I refused saying I could miss my classes so he and his VP came to Memphis and met me.
They started calling F. regularly from the Head Office. In the court the company said that I ordered them to continue calling her regularly to show their interest in me. They had to obey my orders, what else could they do, my orders. One senior official from HO told her after 6 months I will be moved to the HO. They seemed very excited. I thought Japan and Mitsubishi will declare some day as International Marriage Day to celebrate F. and my union.
To stop that I told Kawasaki that my marriage was not certain. I wondered why this job when my specialization was totally different. Mr. Kawasaki told me I was wanted for development of financial software.When asked, I told him I wanted to become Mitsubishi’s head in India. Then all of a sudden, just before we were ending our meeting at Marriott, Kawasaki quickly told me that I will have to quit in 3-5 years. I was left wondering permanent job but temporary tenure, but since had no interest in working there I didn’t question them.
Then the HO invited F. to look at the company apartments. I told her not to go but she was really frenetic, remained so throughout the entire recruitment process, refused to listen to me, and went with her mother to Kamakura and selected an company apartment for me, and bought an expensive bed for me,
Then Kawasaki called me to accept the job, I firmly said NO. I few days later the company contacted F. telling her the contract was ready.In the forced interview I had told Kawasaki that I will come to Japan in Summer of 1989 and then will meet with the company while meeting other companies. Mitsubishi wanted me ahead of others.
She called me, ordering me to sign the contract. Arguing with her had become impossible. And personnel department’s Urabe called her frequently telling her the company was preparing a pleasant working environment for me. (As you can guess absolutely nothing was done.)
Thought it was God’s will that Mitsubishi at the wrong time decided to hire me and therefore help F. immensely. I had decided not to marry her at any cost now but the notorious Mitsubishi trying to treat a foreign employee just like a Japanese was so historical, unmitsubishi-like that it piqued my interest. On internet found all stories of Mitsubishi killing and harassing Chinese and Koreans but remembered Bengalis during my childhood in Bengal claiming that Indians have a special place in Japanese heart calmed me. I started getting job offers from famous actuarial firms like Tower Perrins, investment firms like Wall Street’s Morgan Stanley called me for an interview with them. But Mitsubishi’s enthusiasm in spite of low salary etc. made me decide to join them. Following Netaji who had decided to take a flight into unknown, decided to come to Japan where I would be welcome with open arms. Was told by Mitsubishi that I was a pioneer. (An IIT-Kharagpur Bengali engineer married to a Japanese woman, who I didn’t know about prior to coming to Japan was in semiconductor plant, and so on.)
No Japanese language training – Will be unfair to Japanese staff
During the interview Kawasaki had told me that Japanese staff don’t get language training so it will be unfair to give me language training. Their sense of fairness touched me and his voice had so much pain. (Actually I found out after joining them Japanese staff got English language training, Caucasian staff later hired as temporary workers got very expensive Japanese language training at Berlitz, so it was all but me. No training for me, no help.
Gave me low quality work like SQL testing unrelated to my financial background. All software were in Japanese. Was forced to learn written and spoken Japanese as soon as possible. Attending language schools at far away Sinjuku after work, and working on my language skills all my free time, achieved some competence but the colleagues and bosses didn’t seem pleased. After I passed the highest level Japanese language exam (Nihongo Noryoku Level 1 exam) in 3 years, a rare feat for Caucasians, one of my colleagues announced in broken English “You are stoopid. People master Japanese language in one year.”
Fawning on the temporary Caucasian
Six moths after I joined a Caucasian employee, Bitar, was hired on a yearly contract and was told even though his contract was for one year, he could stay on for 5 years just like me. He sat next to me and got good quality work. He told me Japanese training was not on his contract. But lots of Japanese language training at 10,000 yens per hour at Berlitz after he asked them. He told me when he felt he needed more Japanese training he just had to ask gently and they obliged immediately. “Such nice people, you should ask correctly.” Big house and generous pay for him. Company told him that I was not qualified but the company hired me to help me because of the Japanese woman. He laughed at me. All this training and all he could say a single word “Hai.” which threw the Japanese staff into deep admiration “Sugoi ne.” (Going through notes, he also frequently used the word “wakarimashita.” So it was 2 words. No reading and writing skill though.)
Company bugs house phone
After I sued them, my home phone was bugged. Lot of static making phone conversations almost impossible. At first I didn’t know what happened, but I read a newspaper article about this. Found a wire from my apartment to outside. Lots of screaming at me at workplace. Only one young engineer came to me once to tell me what the company did was wrong. I guess Chinese and Korean people went through much worse.
In the courtroom the company produced a resume asking me to recognize that as the one I had submitted. It took me mere one second to recognize that as a duplicate. The line containing “Have a US green card.’ had been removed. Satoshi Murata, my human rights lawyer, worked hard, but in Japan, Mitsubishi always wins. With Modiji at helm, and Jaishankar, advised by his Japanese wife, as his trusted MEA, in India, too.
Met lawyer Satoshi Murata in Tokyo in 2017. He was youthful and healthy. He studied at top-ranked private Keio but was affordable and passionate. He is proficient in English. In hypercompetitive Japan only 1% of applicant succeeded in passing the bar exam. Most took 6-7 attempts, Murata too took several attempts. The lawsuit went on from 1992 to 1997 in Tokyo courts. Anyone willing to do research can find the documents and Murata’s narrative.
He sued Mitsubishi mainly for language training discrimination. Japanese staff got English language training and I didn’t get Japanese language training. We went all the way to the supreme court and lost.
Hints for the uninitiated
1. Non-whites like Indians are hired as ‘permanent or regular’ employees in Japan. It requires marriage to a Japanese woman. They are like bonded husbands.
2. Forget about Japanese language training. Learn in college etc. Language training is expensive and you are expecting Japanese company to bear its cost for a non-white person?
3. People from America and Europe are as a rule offered temporary jobs. Unlike permanent jobs, companies are free to offer lots of training, high salaries. Mostly they are renewed and renewed.
4.Temporary workers command respect, the permanent foreign worker is treated like a dog. Indians are used to being treated like dogs.