Cultural Expectations in Japan for New Businesses


Cultural Expectations in Japan for New Businesses




Cultural Expectations in Japan for New Businesses

The world is becoming a global village which creates the need for companies to expand into new markets to give a broad market to their products and increase profitability. Venturing into a new country can be very challenging especially if the cultures between the countries of origin and the new one are very different. For instance, if an organization seeks to venture in a country like Japan they ought to understand some of the basic cultural practices that could stand between the success and failure of business.

Language is a major element of culture that could determine the success seeing as the official language is Japanese and only a minuscule percentile of non-natives speak Japanese. Additionally, most people in Japan do not speak English and as such language could create a barrier in the day to day running of the business (Sosnoski & Narumi, 2014). Secondly, the entrepreneurial culture in Japan is very different as compared to that in most countries in the West. In Japan, the people have a high regard for hierarchy including in small matters like who sits where and before who in a meeting and as such it can create a barrier if one is not conversant.

Furthermore, the Japanese are very hospitable and accommodating, but they have very distinct moral values and ethics that have been preserved for centuries. Thus, they tend to be very traditional without blurred lines, and it could be difficult to influence them into trying new products that they are not familiar with or that seem to go against their moral code (Sosnoski & Narumi, 2014). The main religion in Japan is Shinto and Buddhism, and as such when introducing a product in their market, it should be sensitive to the major beliefs preserved by the faiths. While the culture is striving to promote gender equality, most of the social institutions are run by men seeing as Japan has a masculine culture which means that most business negotiations and interactions are carried out by the men in the society while women offer a subordinate role.

Therefore, identifying and being familiar with the cultural expectations and practices in Japan offers real insight into how to deal with the people. It also ensures that the introduced product in the country is relevant and will increase the profit margins of a country without stepping on cultural toes.



Sosnoski, D., & Narumi, Y. (2014). Introduction to Japanese Culture. Claredon, VT: Tuttle Publishing.



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