Masayoshi Son is known for his unbreakable will to achieve his business goals – rather the business goals for his companies.
Currently Masayoshi Son is battling for a revision of a decision by Japan’s Ministry of General Affairs (総務省、Soumu-Sho) to award a new tranche of radio wave spectrum to KDDI’s subsidiary UQ, rather than sharing the spectrum equally with SoftBank‘s subsidiary Wireless City Planning.
For a long time, I knew of a story about Masayoshi Son threatening to set himself on fire inside Japan’s Postal and Telecommunications Ministry (now merged into Japan’s Ministry of General Affairs (総務省、Soumu-Sho) since administrative reforms some years ago) in order to underline his request for a particular telecommunications license, or access to NTT exchanges, or similar matters Masayoshi Son was applying for at the time. I was long puzzled whether this story is true or not, so some years I go I had the chance to check this story out directly with Masayoshi Son, via the Chief- Editor of BusinessWeek, Mr David Rocks.
David Rocks, Editor of BusinessWeek in 2004 came for three weeks to Japan because BusinessWeek’s technology correspondent had tragically died of illness, in order to fill the gap of reporting about Japan. On the first day of his three weeks work in Japan he had Chinese dinner with me in Hibiya. Next day around noon he phoned me for advice of which questions to ask Masayoshi Son during an interview, and one of the questions that I suggest was: “Is the story true, that you (=Masayoshi Son) threatened to set yourself on fire in the Japanese Telecommunications Ministry”. A day later David Rocks told me, that Masayoshi Son’s answer was: “Yes, the story is true, I did threaten to set myself on fire inside the Telecommunications Ministry, but I did not take any petrol along!”.
More about Softbank and Masayoshi Son in our report.
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