About Japan

A country of exquisite charm and urban chaos; time-less tradition and futuristic development, Japan is full of contradictions. While there are obvious cultural differences between Europe and Japan, we also share a wealth of similarities. Indeed, even the newcomer can soon feel very comfortable. The key is to have the right attitude. One very quickly learns to ‘go with the flow’ and what a fast ‘flow’ it can be !

The resources below have been prepared specifically to help orientate newcomers to the country, providing market background information, but equally importantly providing tips on how to do business more effectively in Japan. Committed as we are to ensuring our clients make progress with their business aims here, it becomes so much easier for our clients to relax and enjoy the tradition, natural beauty and culinary delights that Japan has to offer in such abundance. For a pleasant diversion, please visit our photo gallery.

Market Background

Japan has been in a deflationary recession for over 12 years now. However, the economic landscape here is much more conducive to successful business initiatives by foreign enterprises than before the ‘Bubble’ burst. The most positive change has been in the mentality of the Japanese businessman and consumer. In the 1990s many foreign companies were resigned to doing business with Japan via intermediaries such as the large trading houses (‘sogo shosha’). Now they have a much wider range of options, including setting up in Japan themselves. The costs are lower, it is easier for foreign companies to attract good local staff and the Japanese consumer now makes purchasing decisions on lines not so different to consumers in Europe.

Whereas collaborations were in the past often limited to in-licensing technologies, Japanese companies are now much keener to develop strategic alliances or enter into innovative outsourcing or partnering paradigms with foreign companies.

We will look at three sectors in more detail.

A Business Primer