Doing Business In Japan

Japan has experienced a remarkable economic success since emerging defeated after World War 2. The 21st Century hasn’t been as kind to Japan as the later half of the 20th century was when it was dubbed the “success story of the century” by many. However, Japan is still the world’s third largest economy and offers many opportunities for those who want to do business in Japan.

Japan’s strengths and weaknesses lie in the country’s culture, values, and institutions. And if you’re going to do business here, you HAVE to understand them. The Japanese practice a fair amount of “katagiri,” which is the practice of accepting challenge, taking pride in one’s work, and being humble. This mindset has played a huge role in the country’s economic success, but many fear this ‘old-fashioned’ approach may also be holding it back now. As with many things, the truth is complicated. So we try to beak things down in the world’s this largest economy.

Cult of excellence

When you think of Japan, what comes to mind? If it is anything other than “elegant,” “sophisticated,” and “high quality,” you are not alone. The Japanese have an obsession with excellence. No matter what it is, they will strive to improve on it. This can be seen in both the corporate and residential spheres. The Japanese take great pride in the products they produce, which is one reason they are so good at making cars and electronics. They place a huge emphasis on quality. While making a cheap product may be enough to make a profit, this is not the case in Japan – where quality is king. This obsession with excellence is also reflected in Japanese educational institutions. A Japanese student will typically do better at school than an American student, no matter their socioeconomic background.

Hard-working people

In order to succeed in the Japanese corporate world, one must be hard-working and adaptable. It does not matter how good you are at making cars, how much mathematics you know, or any other skill you have – if you are not willing to work as hard as a Japanese, you will fail. This is because Japan has a very high unemployment rate. As a result, the Japanese are used to being employed for an extended period of time. They are used to working in jobs that do not necessarily require a specific skill set. They are also used to working under pressure because they have to find jobs immediately after they lose previous ones. Because of this, the Japanese are accustomed to being very productive workers. They have been raised to believe that if they are not, they will have no place to sleep the following night.

Companies with strong cultures

Most Japanese companies have a unique culture. These companies are typically very old – some dating all the way back to the 18th century. This culture is reflected in everything from their corporate names to the practices at their companies. These companies pride themselves on having strong, long-standing values. They will typically focus on quality, diligence, and respect. These companies typically have a very traditional approach to business. They are also typically very hierarchical. Japan has a long history of being a hierarchical society, which has resulted in a deep respect for hierarchy among the Japanese.

Favorable economic conditions

When one thinks of Japan’s economic success, they usually think of export-led growth. After World War II, Japan faced enormous difficulties in rebuilding its economy. Additionally, the country had to pay war reparations to the United States. Nevertheless, under the leadership of then-Prime Minister Masayoshi Ohira, the Japanese government realized an economic model that is often overlooked: export-led growth. This model involved focusing on exporting products to the Western markets. This strategy worked exceedingly well for the country. During the post-war economic recovery period, the country’s exports were mostly raw materials. As a result, the country was able to receive very high profit margins from its exports. This model also helped Japan become a very wealthy country. As a country, you only have so many resources at your disposal. In order to grow your economic power, you need to earn money by selling something – whether it is a product or a service.


The Japanese have an obsession with quality, hard work, and traditional values. This combination has led to a remarkable economic success. The Japanese also have a strong work ethic, which has helped them become one of the most productive countries in the world. When combined with favorable economic conditions, these characteristics have led Japan to become the third-largest economy in the world. The Japanese are also known for their innovation and adaptability. They have been able to withstand several economic and political crises during the past two decades but the last 20 years have not been easy. Many business consultants feel some of the same traditional values which help build Japan after the war may now be holding them back. It is imperative to really study the Japanese market in order to be successful in this dynamic and sometimes confusing market.

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