Japan business: breaking into Japan market

Doing business in Japan

Japan business: learn how to break into Japan’s markets, and how to reduce your risks of failure

With China and India’s economies growing rapidly, and Japan’s aging population and stagnating economy, why would it make sense for you to enter Japan’s market at all?

Japan business: why should you consider entering Japan’s market at all? quick answer

Japan is the world’s second or third largest market depending on the sector, important competitor, and partner. With 125 million people it’s a large and important country.

15% of the world’s economy is in Japan
25% of the world’s high-tech products are made in Japan
10% of the world’s cars are made in Japan
30% of the world’s cars are made by Japanese brands
Japan’s mobile communications market is arguably the most advanced in the world.

Japan business: how to succeed? quick answer:

  • The first imperative is to understand common mistakes and avoid them, and not to fall into the same traps as similar companies have fallen into. To get you started read:
  • Your second step must be:
    • thorough preparations: understanding the market landscape, your competitors and the value of your product in Japan’s market, and any modifications necessary to your products and services
    • a sound strategy: in particular you need to decide based on facts, which of about 100 different ways to build a business in Japan you select. Don’t jump into a ill-prepared partnership.
    • a solid financial plan
    • the required investments: many market entries to Japan have failed because of insufficient capital investments.

Japan business: how to succeed? Detailed answers:

  1. Why can business in Japan be difficult?
  2. Changes and new opportunities
  3. Avoid well known mistakes
  4. What can we do about the difficulties of Japan business?
  5. Relationships
  6. Japanese business etiquette
  7. Japanese business meetings

Download Gerhard Fasol’s lecture slides at Stanford University: “New opportunities vs old mistakes – foreign companies in Japan’s high-tech markets”

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