REFILE-J.P. Morgan’s Dimon, other CEOs descend on Tokyo to rally troops

(Refiles to correct to spokesman from spokeswoman in paragraph
12)

By Chikafumi Hodo and David Dolan

TOKYO, March 25 (Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co boss
Jamie Dimon and Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent were among top
global executives to visit Tokyo this week to meet with local
staff coping with the devastating earthquake and radiation panic
that hit the city.

While the vast majority of the damage was felt from the
deadly tsunami in the country’s northeast, Tokyo is still
reeling from the effects of the disaster as offices empty out
and some foreign employees flee the country.

Dimon met with staff during his visit and asked for a moment
of silence to remember the victims of the disaster, according to
sources present at the meeting, who did not want to be
identified.

“The people of JP Morgan, in the U.S. and around the world,
are thinking of Japan and know there will be a rapid rebuilding
of the affected areas,” the CEO said in an e-mail to staff seen
by Reuters.

“You may know that JP Morgan did raise capital to help
rebuild Tokyo after the 1923 earthquake. We will do everything
we can to help now,” he said.

Dimon spent the following day visiting clients before flying
out that evening, said one of the sources.

The world’s No.3 economy remains a major market for many
large U.S. and European companies, despite the attention given
to growth in China and India during the last several years.
Tokyo is a particularly key Asian market for Wall Street and
European banks, drawn by its deep capital markets and millions
of wealthy individuals.

The visits come amid some criticism of the Tokyo foreign
residents who fled the country after the earthquake as the
nuclear crisis worsened.

Some local critics of the Westerners who fled have coined
the phrase “fly-jins” — a play on the word “gaijin”, or
foreigner — to describe those who left.

Embassies from Austria and Australia to France and
Switzerland advised their citizens to leave not only the areas
closest to the damaged nuclear complex, but also the capital
city Tokyo.

Several big Western banks saw large scale exits, with some
trading desks inadequately staffed, according to industry
sources.

The departures and the radiation fears that spread across
the city has only added to the unease felt by Tokyo’s business
community since the quake, explaining in part why CEOs have
decided to fly in person to the city to ensure staff of their
support.

Coca-Cola’s Kent flew in late on Wednesday with three other
senior executives on a private jet, according to a spokesman.
After a briefing on the impact to the company’s operations, he
held a meeting with staff and answered questions.

He met with local bottlers before flying out the next day.

Brian Moynihan, the chief executive of Bank of America
Corporation , is also due to come to Tokyo in the near
future, a spokesman said, although he declined to say when.

Nissan Motor Co Carlos Ghosn has met with workers
at the Tochigi plant and will visit the earthquake-damaged Iwaki
plant next week, a spokeswoman said.

Two senior executives from Goldman Sachs Group
visited last week, according to a spokeswoman. Michael Evans,
the bank’s head of emerging markets and Asia chairman, and Ed
Forst, the co-head of its investment management division, both
met with staff in Tokyo.

(Additional reporting by Tim Kelly, James Topham, Chang-Ran
Kim, Mariko Katsumura and Ayai Tomisawa. Editing by Michael
Flaherty and Lincoln Feast)

REFILE-J.P. Morgan’s Dimon, other CEOs descend on Tokyo to rally troops