Japan Globalization & Market Expansion

What is the Market Readiness Framework?

Two major sporting events, Japan Rugby 2019 and Tokyo 2020 are just around the corner, with the Osaka World Expo following in 2025. It’s the ideal time to get your brand noticed not just by Japan, but by the whole world. It is a market watched globally for its trends and technological innovations, that is …

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Japan and the EU offer to “light up the political darkness”

The EU and Japan are claiming that they can “light up the darkness” in an era of protectionism and trade wars. They’ve just signed a sweeping trade deal which should mean an end to tariffs on almost all goods and services. Prime Minister Abe claims it’s a sign of success in his Abenomics programme. The …

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SoftBank’s maestro has America and China singing his tune

July has seen an intensification of the trade war between the US and China. Most business people are worried but not, it seems, Japan’s richest man Masayoshi Son. He’s found another ingenious way to bring profits to his enormous technology conglomerate, SoftBank. He’s using Chinese money, channeled through New York, to increase SoftBank’s stake in …

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US puts tariffs on Japanese Steel and aluminum – imported cars, trucks and auto parts next

Considering that the USA wants to put new tariffs on Japanese imported cars, trucks and auto parts after already having imposed tariffs on Japanese aluminum and steel imports, something must be wrong with the relations between Japan and the US, even if the prime minister of Japan recently said that they are good friends. I …

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Doggy Dad, Mr Son and the 300 year vision for Softbank

Most people in Japan are familiar with a cool white dog who has an unusual name: Otosan, which means “father.” He’s the mascot of Softbank, founded by the hugely ambitious Masayoshi Son. He is Japan’s richest man and its best communicator. His vision is for a company which thrives for the next 300 years. And …

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Effectively Globalized Japanese Companies’ Habit #4: Embrace Diversity: Lead Inclusively and Engagingly

To succeed globally, Japanese organizations may need to ensure that the best workers are rewarded and promoted, regardless of diversity factors, and that all employees want to take responsibility, and feel that they have influence and a voice that is heard. However typical Japanese business communication style is based on hierarchical shows of respect, one-way …

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Why does the foreign press keep criticising Japan’s economic animals?

For some reason business leaders in Japan often say they are economic animals. Perhaps this humility prepares them for criticism when economic growth, measured by GDP, looks weak or sluggish. But is it the right to measure a country’s value using such statistics? In this week’s Japan Story blog, Duncan Bartlett talk to the former …

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Effectively Globalized Japanese Companies’ Habit #3: Innovate from Everywhere

In order to maximize profitable growth, successful global companies need to ensure full contribution by every region, department, and partner towards strategic innovation. This approach was described as “Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne and contrasts with “Red Ocean” strategy which may be described as competing on price with similar products …

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Has North Korea caught Japan in a propaganda trap?

North Korea’s cheerleaders and politicians have been the centre of attention at the Winter Olympics. Japan’s Prime Minister was in a dilemma on whether to attend. He didn’t want to play into the propaganda of a national enemy. On the other hand, as the next Olympic host, he wanted to support the Japanese team and …

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