Japan market characteristics

a businessman trying to enter market  facing clock ( lack of time)Before you do business in Japan, you might hear much of its myth. Typical one is as follows:

Entering Japanese market is said that it is too expensive and too time consuming to get profitable or that high local cost and severe competition makes difficult to penetrate.

It is not necessary true. For example, luxury cars and fashion items form Europe are sold well in Japan and they enjoys lucrative business. They even do not change the price on rising Japanese Yen rate.

In this section, we provide information regarding Japanese market to assist your decision to introduce your product in Japan or invest.


Followings are some of information we provide :

  • Japanese history and cultural background - Needless to say, learning history and culture of a country you want to do business is the one of the first step to start with. Here is a brief geological and historical description of Japan.
    Geology - Japan is located in the east of Eurasian continent, surrounded by seas. 70% of land is mountain terrain and 4 distinct seasons with many natural disaster such as typhoon, flood, land-slide, drought, cold-weather in summer, earthquake, volcanic eruption and tunami that have been taken measures for centuries and people used to live together.
    Faith - Major invasion by different ethnic group had never occurred until the end of WWII. Once Yuan Dynasty tried (the Mongolian Invasions) but failed because of a typhoon. It was called Kamikaze (the divine wind) and Japanese believes Gods save Japan when it is in great danger. Some said similarity in Judaism though it is polytheistic society. Most people worship both at Shinto shrine and Buddhism temple and many Shinto shrines have temples in its grounds or verse-versa. People accept new culture and mix it with own. For example, Japanese writing consists of several letters, Chinese Kanji (ideograph), phonetic symbols ( Hiragana and Katakana), Arabic numerals and alphabets and use many foreign origin words, even developing Japanese-origin new foreign words, like "office lady", "guard-man" and "a-ru-ba-i-to (part time, originated from 'arbite', work in German)".
    Society - After long governed by Samurai, feudal lord, with closed-door policy, Japan revived monarchy at Meiji restoration in 1868 and open the door. Confucianism was essential knowledge for Samurai to rule people. Because Meiji government consists of aristocrats and former Samurai, this social system lasted until the end of WWII as well as the ethical background. Opening the door changed Japan drastically. People absorbed foreign culture, technology and system as much as possible to catch up gap made during more than 260 years of Samurai era without any consideration and threw original culture away, like Ukiyoe. This may be the reason why Japanese like import goods.
  • Economics - The Closed-door Policy in Samurai era made original culture. In Osaka, capitol of merchants and business center for a long time, where most rice crops were dealt, there was the world first commodity market with transfer transactions including forward transaction and risk-hedge concept.
    Japanese economy was vanished at the end of WWII and recovered sharply with demand at Korean War and the first Tokyo Olympic. Japan enjoyed most of time until the Bubble Economy collapsed with population growth and relatively low currency rate that helped export.
    Although Japanese economy has not completely recovered yet, some companies are taking off. For example, Softbank bought Sprint Nextel and Toyota's US sale rose 17% in July 2013. Along with government policy, investment on renewable energy and energy saving technology is expected.
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