Bridgestone's President Breaks Silence on Recall
                    September 11, 2000

                    By TODD ZAUN
                    Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

                    TOKYO -- The president of embattled Bridgestone Corp., breaking his
                    long silence over the mass recall of Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. tires in
                    the U.S., vowed to deal decisively with the crisis but offered no new
                    initiatives for aiding owners of affected vehicles.

                                         Yoichiro Kaizaki told a news conference that the
                                         Japanese company is focusing its energies on
                                         determining the root cause of accidents
                                         involving Ford Explorer vehicles equipped with
                                         its tires.

                    He said statistical data indicate there might be problems with the tires,
                    but that the company hasn't determined any cause yet. He also
                    repeated Bridgestone's assertion that the company hadn't deliberately
                    withheld information about tire problems in overseas markets from U.S

                    "We promise to support the Firestone brand with all the strength of the
                    Bridgestone group," Mr. Kaizaki told a news conference.

                    Mr. Kaizaki's remarks, though they seemed to break little new ground,
                    were noteworthy nonetheless because they marked his first comments
                    on the matter since last month, when his company's
                    Bridgestone/Firestone unit began a voluntary recall of Firestone-brand
                    tires on Ford Explorer vehicles that may be implicated in the deaths of
                    more than 100 drivers in the U.S. and Venezuela.

                    Still, it isn't clear whether Mr. Kaizaki and Bridgestone will take a more
                    aggressive stance in promoting its own interpretation of the tire

                    Until now, Ford's voice has been dominant in the discussion, largely
                    because Bridgestone headquarters in Japan has been so silent on the

                    Mr. Kaizaki himself has been lying low, leaving the public-relations tasks
                    to Masatoshi Ono, Bridgestone/Firestone's chief executive in the U.S.
                    Mr. Kaizaki disclosed at the news conference that he has visited the U.S.
                    during the recall crisis, but didn't provide further details.

                    In stark contrast, Ford Motor Co. executive Jacques Nasser has
                    frequently made himself available for media interviews. Mr. Kaizaki's
                    move to speak up in public comes a week after Mr. Ono stumbled
                    through testimony before Congress on the tire recall.

                    Mr. Kaizaki, known for being unusually tough and frank for a Japanese
                    executive, is extremely well regarded in Japan for having led the
                    turnaround of Bridgestone/Firestone in the U.S., which Mr. Kaizaki
                    himself ran from 1991 to 1993, before taking on the presidency of
                    Bridgestone in Tokyo. Bridgestone bought Firestone in 1988.