Presidents Tanii and Seki celebrate the merger of MEI and MET as the company prepares to expand as a global enterprise.
With overseas business accounting for a growing proportion of Panasonic sales, the company began taking steps to change from a domestically oriented enterprise toward an international one.
The company announced plans for a merger with MET in 1987, and concluded the merger in April 1988. In the annual policy meeting for the year, President Tanii stated that he wanted the company to embark on a new drive toward globalization, with priorities on establishing a solid foundation overseas, promoting globalization of Panasonic's internal operations, and practicing a policy of harmony and peaceful co-existence in its international relationships.
In October of the same year, the company set up three Regional Corporate Management Divisions: for the Americas, for Europe and Africa, and for Asia, Oceania and the Middle East. These divisions and the Corporate International Trade Division were placed directly under tie authority of the president.
In July 1989, at the height of disputes between Japan and its trade partners, the company launched its International Co-operation Action Plan for expanding imports, increasing overseas production and stimulating domestic demand. This was followed up by establishment of an International Cooperation Office in September to help the company maintain financial balance in its operations as it expanded its multinational role.
Trainees from abroad visit the Hall of Science and Technology. The Overseas Training Institute has provided management and technical training to over 8,000 Panasonic Group employees from outside Japan since its establishment in 1972.