Doing Business in Japan, Essay Example
Cultural, social, political, and business factors in Japan
People from various parts of the world have different cultural, social, political values. One could have an interest of setting up a business in Japan, but wondering how, where, and when to start. The Japanese cultures vastly differ with china and India cultures (Marino 42). This research paper seeks to provide relevant information regarding the social, political, cultural values and the various business factors that investors anticipating to establish businesses in Japan should know. The paper uses first hand information where interviews done on two Japanese businesspersons. Honda Soichiro Jr. of the Honda Motor Co Ltd interviewed, and to clarify the information, Charlotte Inamori of Kawasaki Heavy Industries interviewed. It also uses secondary data from the Internet and scholarly sources. By the end of it all, the audience will understand best what it takes to succeed in setting up a commercial venture in Japan.
Japanese culture and social etiquette
It is extremely crucial to consider the family and culture of a locality before deciding the business to venture. A family in Japan comprised of a couple with children. The mothers supposed to be house makers, and only work in part time, while fathers are providers in most cases. This enables the anticipating business persons know that the work force readily available comprises of men in most cases. Charlotte Inamori said that the japans family does not necessarily run individually, as there is a culture enforced in accordance to the descendant line. This enhances collectiveness of families rather than individualism
Honda Soichiro Jr gave the several social etiquettes to adopt to fit into the society. These social etiquettes majorly focus on the discipline of employers, employees, and the general respect shown to one another. They presented as do’s and do not’s as follows:
- DO practice the use of apologetic language whenever there is a necessity. In case one offered with some favor, then show gratitude. This appears as a sense of politeness in Japan.
- DO as much as possible to avoid confrontation especially during business negations. Give opinions openly while evading direct and aggressive refusals.
- DO use respect and politeness while greeting business counterparts
- DO NOT have a habit of praising one Japanese colleague in the presence of others. This kills the morale of the others, as they tend to think their efforts are not recognized.
- DO NOT address any Japanese counterpart using their first name, unless the individual requires it so. Instead, use titles ‘Mr’ or ‘Mrs’ followed by their family name.
- DO NOT use hand gestures, facial expressions or dramatic gestures to pass information. Charlotte Inamori said that Japanese say they “do not talk using their hands” rather they talk using their mouth (Marino 43).
The Japanese political system
In Japan, there exist two levels of government: National and Prefectural government. The Japanese constitution has it that the national legislative power incorporated just as in the Diet. The prefectural government, on the other hand, has that the collective 47 administrative prefectures has the power to govern and enforce laws within a prefecture Japan entails of a civil law country. It is governed by laws enacted by Parliament, and then, interpreted by the courts. There are five types of courts: Supreme Court the high court, the district court, the family court, and the summary court. Any business conflict arisen taken to the relevant court for judgment.
Foreign investors in Japanese businesses guarded by the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Law (Watanabe 531). Reporting or approval requirements apply depending:
- On the jurisdiction the investor (if an approved country or not)
- On the industry business operates (if a regulated or a unregulated industry)
- On the nature of the particular asset involved, in the case of asset acquisitions
Business in Japan
At the workplace, everyone considered essential, thus respected and treated responsively.
The Japanese take communication seriously. Direct eye contact, for example, regarded as a sign of respect. Japanese feel comfortable when a conflict revealed there and then and discussed openly. Respect is the principal key. In case a worker bows to the boss, for example, the boss also expected to show a sense of respect to the worker in return. There is the use of gestures instead of words is another thing the Japanese hate most. There is the slogan they have that Japanese “do not talk using their hands.” In fact, it is the most absurd thing one can ever do in Japan. Communication is one mistake foreigners do, and the other common mistake foreigners perform is dismissal of an employee. In Japan employees not easily dismissed as a “life-time employment” expected of them.
Ways to overcome culture and business barriers
The only way to overcome a barrier is to study it internally, and find ways to approach. There are several approaches as:
- Attending cultural sensitivity training to learn more of what expected out of you and your investment upon carrying out a business in Japan.
- Hiring a consultant who will guide one through all that expected of him /her, especially the labor law issues and the business legalities.
- Learning about the Japanese business through the Internet and foreign investors
- Accepting change- takes the expected and the unexpected changes positively.
With all due respect, when one goes to Rome, then he / she ought to do just as the Romans do. Japan is a land that preaches peace, respect, and harmony. It continues its evolvement in the same tradition, while it grows and modernizes itself. At first, foreigners find a difficult time adopting the cultural and social values and etiquettes, however, with time they just become part of everyday life. In fact, for those who have been there, it is the most peaceful palace one can ever be. Honda Soichiro had it that business investors anticipating to invest in Japan should not hesitate to do so. It only takes the understanding of their protocols influenced by culture.
Lam, Wing; Chen, Ziguang; Takeuchi, Norihiko. International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 20 (11) (2009): p2250-2270, 21p.
Marino, John. Caribbean Business. Vol. 38 (15) (2010): p43-43, 1p.
Watanabe, Susumu. International Labor Review. Vol. 102 (6), (1970): p531, 46p.
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