Most of the time, I was a tourist in Japan. But once in a while I also had serious discussion with whoever spoke better English than my Japanese or put up with an interpreter who only translated selectively! Some discussions were about population trends, storage market and opportunities and service nuances. Whether it was Sapporo, Kyoto or Tokyo, I was surprised and impressed that most Japanese, I talked to, considered issues with worldwide perspective instead of what is good for Japan unlike some other places.
Storage professionals seem to be as much in demand in Japan and APAC as in North America. I wish I had some Japanese language skills, I would have easily skipped my return flight. ;-)
I also heard similar sentiments about Hitachi storage as I hear in North America about its mindshare and footprint. Main difference being that most comments in Japan were directed not at HDS but at Hitachi's disk drive unit. HGST may be the better known entity in Japan than HDS. Where is storage on its list of priorities at Hitachi? Chime in if you desire. And, what's up with everyone wanting to discuss HDS with me?
I was particularly impressed with the level of service extended to customers in Japan. I don't think I have experienced such service dedication anywhere else. One individual from auto industry put it nicely "Here you get better service because it is ingrained culturally. In US, you get good service because people get paid for it." Just makes me wonder why HDS is generally thought of as "great hardware, ok software, poor service" company.
Promotional display for ASUS-Lamborghini Golden Edition laptop in Akihabara area of Tokyo. If you are in the area, try visiting Yodobashi Camera, a huge discount electronic store. I haven't seen anything like it on this side of Pacific.