1. Briefly discuss the Japanese business practices.
Business traditions and practices are greatly influenced by the culture in which they function. The values of a culture help to define the underlying structure and philosophy of business. Many traditions and practices within a culture are often integrated into the country’s businesses. Japanese culture greatly affects its business practice on all levels. It is a unique country with many distinct cultural traditions. As a result, cultural traditions tend to be uniform and community is central to daily life.
Culturally, the Japanese are rather introverted in their ways, focusing on their own culture and traditions. A strong sense of community, family, and being part of a larger group and business family are central to the Japanese culture. The ritualistic traditions that are characteristic of the home environment typically spread to the social and work sphere of life. The Japanese culture maintains a very formal style of interactions. Even introducing oneself in Japan is formal in nature.
Exchange of business cards is an obligatory custom at business meetings. The exchange of gifts is an accepted custom in Japan. The Japanese bow is part of Japanese culture that expresses honor and greetings to a guest. Thus Japanese are well behaved in their business practices and try to do a lot of good stuffs which can influence the international relations. They believe in a business where trust exists. The do their level best to be recognized as nice people in the business market.
2. What is the appeal of the Japanese market for world business?
The Japanese government and business leader’s marks deep changes in their market from closed to open while acknowledging its competitive nature (Shetty and Kim, 1995). They argue that all firms should understand their market and do provide the quality products and services demanded by the consumers. Large firms should offer lifetime employment, and employees may be reluctant to accept employment with foreign firms that do not. Furthermore, the firms must consider employment with a foreign company less desirable than employment with a domestic firm. It suggests that long-term relationships and mutual commitments in the market will encourage practices such as bidding and close parent company-supplier ties.
“Japan appeals that the three factors to compete successfully in the world market is quality, followed by the ability to hire qualified employees and the attitudes of top corporate management.” (Shetty and Kim, 1995)
Japanese focus on quality of products and services, keeping good personnel, hiring local staff, strong corporate head office with limited interference, reputation of the business, brand image, latest technology and strengthening value chain. These are some of the major deciding factors that help a firm to gain profits in the market. Besides, Japanese, have understanding of respect, they are persistent, they have perseverance and ability to develop strong global network. To increase the world business, the market should value advanced technology and innovation and should willing to try new products or technologies. Finally, establishing manufacturing and distribution facilities is a visible sign of a firm’s commitment. So the market must take care of it. But the main theme is that the market should value personal, harmonious, and long-term relationships with distributors, customers, suppliers, and employees.
3. Briefly discuss the major business trends and opportunities in Japan’s economy.
Japan is the worlds second-largest and Asia’s largest economy. United States is the largest economy. This is the only member of G8 from Asia. It is also a member of the UN Security Council on a temporary basis.
In Japan the wages are highest in the world. From 1960s to1980s, there was a swift economic growth with a growth rate of 10%, 5% and 4%. The economy of Japan was in the state of turbulence in the late 1980s. The reason was falling stock and real estate prices. By 1989 the situation turned worst. The Tokyo Stock Exchange crashed. During 1990s the country’s economic growth remained slow. The economy trend of Japan is a slightly uneven but it is continuously focusing on increasing the GDP. Japan has lot of business opportunities and it supports business activities. Eco-towns are being promoted in order to build a resource recycling-type economic society, which limits waste while encouraging recycling. Japan has developed a robust way of dealing with the pollution and completely self-sustainable industrial parks with zero emissions (JETRO).
“The Kawasaki Foundation for Promotion of Industry (Kawasaki Small and Medium-Sized Business Support Centre) and KSP (Kanagawa Science Park) are providing various types of venture support, including assistance for businesses, help in establishing new enterprises, and educational research.” (JETRO)
Government is providing assistance from operations management consultation to assistance with publicity.
4. Briefly discuss the different modes of entry to Japanese market.
These are some common modes of entry in the Japanese market.
A) It is possible to directly go to Japan and establish a firm.
B) Local distributer and partners for the companies.
These are good way of entering to the market at the early stage of the business.
c) Specialized business consultant can be hired.
The market is matured. This forces the marketer to focus more on keeping the cost low and at the same time performance and features should be maintained. The quick increase in revenue is not possible in the Japanese market. Understanding of Consumer behavior is very important. In approach ‘A’ one need to justify the stagnant revenue to the investors. After some years of experience in Japanese market, the revenue may grow with steady rate.
Plan ‘B’ is a convenient way to enter the market. The reason is that here one is utilizing Japanese resources. However success largely depends on finding right distributor and partners, with good market connections, commitment on financial and operations.
5. Compare and contrast the Japanese and the American commercials.
The difference of American and Japanese advertisements appears to be in the degree and not in kind. The advertisement appeals of these two different countries are different. It is based on general employment of the traditional and respect of elders in Japan. Japanese appeal is based on moral values. The general usage of status is different. American advertisements have consumer based appeal. American advertisement is based on western values. The product merit appeals are higher in American advertisements as compared to the Japanese advertisements. The difference also exists in use of youthful or modernity appeals. Japanese advertisement is based on relationship model.
6. Briefly discuss the Japanese way of product development
The Japanese approach to product development emphasizes continuous technological improvement. It is also aimed at making a successful product and providing better solutions for the consumer needs. They have clear competitive vision of product development. They know what types of investments are required to maintain their market positions. Japanese manufacturers invest their resources into technology development, product development, productivity improvement and quality control and thus making the international market becomes more competitive. They focus on high-quality, high-performance products which are relatively inexpensive against those of the same level offered by European and American competitors and thus their products can be easily available to common man in the market. Japanese identify customer needs and develop new products and roadmaps for technological development on the basis of the same. They use modern technologies for keeping the cost low. They hire trained and skilled people and invest in technology and development of human resources. They emphasize on quality and minimization of the production cost.