1.B.3 Cultural Situation
In Japan, majority of the people are Japanese people who solely speak Japanese; this is the only official language in Japan. In terms of ethnic or national composition, Japan is one of the most homogeneous countries in the world (The Translation Company, 2017). Current Japanese culture is a multifaceted and fascinating combination of modernity and tradition. When you visit Japan, you will see the most modern technology and fashion trends, but you can also experience the traditional culture with thousands of years of history. Shinto and Buddhism are the two major religions in Japan (CIA, 2017). However, for most Japanese people today, religion does not play a big role in the everyday life (Kwintessential, 2016). “The average person typically follows the religious rituals at ceremonies like births, weddings and funerals” (Kwintessential, 2016).
On the Geert Hofstede country comparison scale, Japan scores high on the Feminine vs. Masculine dimension, with a score of 95. A society with a high score on this dimension indicates that this society is driven by competition, achievement and success (Hofstede, 2017). With such a high score of 95, Japan is one of the most masculine societies in the world. However, in combination with their mild collectivism, you do not see assertive and competitive individual behaviors which we often associate with masculine culture. What you see is a severe competition between groups” (Hofstede, 2017). With this masculine culture, Japanese firms can be very competitive.
Japan also scores high on the Uncertainty Avoidance dimension. With a score of 92, Japan is one of the most risk averse countries in the world. Due to the constant threat of natural disasters, the Japanese people have become a cautious and prepared society (Hofstede, 2017). As a result, the Japanese people do not like change. This may cause some difficulties for new companies that are trying to enter the Japanese market.
Japan has a relatively low score on the Indulgence dimension. With a low score of 42, the Japanese society does not put much emphasis on leisure time and control the gratification of their desires (Hofstede, 2017). This may cause difficulties for SureShade when the company is trying to sell the boat shade systems to recreational boats.
In Japanese society, there are a lot of etiquette and rules. Japanese people are “usually forgiving to outsiders that show an effort to understand the Japanese business etiquette” (Japan Business Resource, 2017). Japanese people care about manners a lot. A conservative demeanor is advisable when doing business in Japan (Japan Business Resource, 2017).
Here are a few key points that should be remembered when doing business in Japan:
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