Added: Casee Kleckner - Date: 25.03.2022 21:49 - Views: 37480 - Clicks: 4091
Just as U. To help U. Trade between the United States and Japan can best be described in superlatives. Except for Canada, no other nation sells so much to, or buys so much from, the United States as Japan does. This trade is growing at a rapid rate, too. Although it would seem that all is cherry-blossom pink in our commercial relations, examination of the trade reveals problems. It is clear that we are going to have to sell more to the Japanese or buy less.
No foreign company may establish a subsidiary or enter into a t venture in Japan—except in liberalized businesses—without first obtaining government sanction.
Prior to Septemberthere were liberalized types of business, but they were in areas of so little interest that only 17 applications for investment had been made in the three years. The Japanese are taking measures which will give some relief both in trade and in foreign equity investments.
The government is lowering tariffs more rapidly than required under the Kennedy Round tariff-cutting agreement. By the end of the government will have reduced by two thirds the of products that are now virtually barred from entrance into the country. The year will witness more liberalization. Whatever route is taken, the success or failure of U. Although Americans can fairly quickly learn how to sell, invest, and operate in European countries, this is not the case in Japan with its unique East Asian type of culture.
In order to deal constructively with the Japanese, considerable sophistication will be required. Thus it will be desirable to study such things as their sensitivities, preferences, behavioral patterns, and psychology. Let us begin by looking at distinctive behavioral characteristics of the Japanese that influence their negotiations with U. In my experience, 13 such characteristics need to be singled out for attention. Recently a friend came to my office, bringing a small potted Chinese bamboo. He explained that in his garden was a large bamboo which had had a baby.
He carefully nourished the little one until it was big enough to put in a pot and bring to me. He advised me on its care. Whenever I look at it, I think of the fine man who gave it to me, and of the thousands of acts of kindness I have received at the hands of Japanese. The sons of Nippon appreciate it when foreigners show emotional sensitivity, too. Professor Chie Nakane of Tokyo University, after years of studying Europeans, Indians, and Americans, reports that Japanese are as emotional as the Italians, but that Japanese emotion is directed toward or against others, whereas the emotions of an Italian may only reflect his feelings at the time and have no relationship to others.
What is more, the Japanese go out of their way to conceal their sentiments. Although personal feelings play a ificant role in Japanese behavior, a stranger from overseas may never realize it. One evening at a party in Tokyo, the host, the president of a large Japanese company, remarked to me in his language that an executive from Lucerne, with whom he had been chatting cordially in English, did not like Japanese people.
Even though the deal proposed by the Swiss would have been mutually profitable, the Japanese executive refused to proceed. Unless hungry indeed, Japanese are unwilling to do business with someone they think may prove to be arrogant or unpleasant. Japanese dislike the bold use of power and try to avoid situations where this takes place.
Instead the Prime Ministers took a low posture and waited for public opinion to turn against the radicals. When at last the police were called in, the rioters were suppressed without brutality and without splitting the country politically. The Japanese do not like naked displays of power in business either and have developed a remarkable ability to conciliate. They go to court only about one fiftieth as often as do Americans, since in making a decision a judge will perforce display public power nakedly, so someone must lose face. Foreigners should, if at all possible, avoid going to court to settle differences in Japan.
Notable among the many Japanese characteristics of behavior that differ from those common in the Occident is one which is called amaeru. It may be defined as a longing to be looked after and protected. The greatest single cause of difficulty for foreign managers in Japan is personnel relations, and a lack of understanding of amaeru is at the root of much of the trouble. This trait is one of the forces that have led to the lifetime employment system so widely followed. When a young man s a good sized company, government agency, or university faculty, he expects to remain until he reaches retirement age.
He develops a feeling of dependence on his employer, and realizes that his fate and that of the organization are interrelated. The implications of the lifetime employment system should be kept in mind by Americans when negotiating. Japanese employees are completely loyal to the organizations for which they work, whether foreign or native, and will go to great lengths to defeat competitors. Also, if the deal an American is proposing will require recruitment of many new employees, the Japanese will want to be reasonably sure that those to be hired will be given steady employment.
Many a scheme fails to materialize because such assurance is lacking. Economic activities within Japanese society, in which an individual always behaves as a part of the whole society, differ from those in European and American societies, which are based on a philosophy of individualism under which rationalism is pursued from the standpoint of capital. For example, in a functional society where liberalism prevails and individuality is esteemed, specialization and a preference for ability spread.
On the contrary, in a society where groups dominate and people are dependent upon each other within a paternalistic structure, a system of lifetime employment is engendered, resulting in an emphasis on general harmony among persons and the denial of individuality. Such a system, however, is inherent within and exclusive to each company.
It is, therefore, difficult for a person to move to any other company, with the result that a mobility of talent and labor forces is prevented. Consequently, however, a person becomes extremely loyal to his company. In the event that the very existence of a company becomes threatened, the employees, as a body, will strive with their utmost efforts to reconstruct the company, even if that should require a reduction in the salaries of all members, rather than move as individuals to other companies.
The Japanese prefer to work as members of groups rather than individually. When negotiating, one should remember that it is not sufficient to convince just one person—the whole group must be won over. The instinct for group rather than individual action is carried over into politics.
Few nations have spawned such a small of dictators as Japan has.
A man who has this belief attributes his good fortune to the assistance and t efforts of others, rather than to his own wisdom, intelligence, or hard work. In the lifetime employment system, it is desirable that no one makes a conspicuous mistake.
If decisions are made by a group, there is no danger of a single person having to be struck down like a nail when a decision proves to have been wrong. Government agencies also follow it. The system is based on the principle that decisions will be made by groups, in accordance with a free consensus. Usually it is formalized by a sort of buck slip, or ringisho, which carries pertinent facts and a recommendation prepared by someone at the middle-management level.
The proposal is passed upward and horizontally to all who are concerned. Each man who sees the ringisho is expected to study the proposal and affix his seal to it. Ultimately it reaches the president of the company, and when his vermilion seal is stamped, the policy is officially adopted.
The fact that many men—perhaps 20 or more—will have sealed the proposal has the effect of taking the responsibility away from any one individual. However, once a consensus has been reached in conference, it is awkward to block the decision, for a unilateral disapproval offends the Japanese group spirit. Some men, however, do so by pigeonholing the ringisho.
Others show their objection by affixing their seals upside down. In some organizations, a man may pass the buck by stamping his seal sidewise, which, by custom, means that he has seen the proposal but not passed judgment on it. Since the ringisho is originated fairly well down in an organization—usually by the section specifically ased responsibility for the subject—it might seem that top management would lose its authority. But, in actual fact, a proposal may be conceived by the president, his directors, or his department he.
The task of drawing it up and documenting it, however, is usually referred to someone at a less lofty level.
In some companies, ringisho are brought before the executive committee meetings attended by the president, vice presidents, and inside directors and are freely discussed. This helps resolve differences of opinion. In comparing American and Japanese decision-making processes, one soon learns that, whereas in the United States a considerable proportion of management ideas are conceived in the executive suite and imposed from the top down, in Japan the reverse is true.
More often than not, proposals start from somewhere down the line. Besides the normal influences, decision making in Japan is sometimes swayed by cliquism and sectionalism just as in many other countries. Before World War II, for example, the military clique was the most powerful single force in establishing governmental policy. In the past 20 years, business and agricultural interests have exercised considerable influence in the government.
Sometimes an organization will decide on a certain course, not because of economic or political reasons, but in order to save face for some important person. Unfamiliarity with decision-making practices is at the root of many misunderstandings between Japanese and Occidentals. To illustrate:. In one case I recall, a Pennsylvania company insisted that certain action be taken by a Tokyo company because it was covered by a contract.
The Japanese agreed to study the matter. When, two months later, nothing apparently had happened, the Philadelphia officers were sure that the president of the Tokyo company did not intend to carry out the agreement. Actually, this was not the case at all. The management had referred the matter to lower levels, where a ringisho had been drawn up with a proposal to proceed as the Americans desired. The proposition was so complicated, and involved so many different levels and departments of the organization as well as government agencies, however, that to move it and arrange for the necessary conferences on the way required over 60 days.
During the whole time that Philadelphia was steaming, the local representative knew precisely each day where the ringisho was, and saw to it that it was acted on as speedily as was possible. It has been my experience—sitting in the middle, as it were, of correspondence between Japan and North America, Europe, and Australia—that the Japanese run into long delays when government approvals are required.
When governments are not involved, however, the time required for decision making is not much different from ours. Foreigners soon discover that at least three parties are involved when an agreement is being negotiated, viz. It is complicated enough for two companies to reach a decision between themselves; it is several times more difficult when a political body must also be satisfied. The participation of the government may at times be a convenience to the Japanese company.
If the Japanese company wishes to delay its decision, the government will be blamed. If at last the Japanese concern decides against the t venture, the government may play a face-saving role and deny the application. Cabinet ministers and members of the permanent bureaucracy are all subject to pressures from trade associations, Diet members, university professors, private businessmen, and countless domestic lobbying groups, each arguing in its own interest.
Except for advice from the Foreign Ministry, foreign embassies and governments, international trade associations, and a handful of internationally minded businessmen, government officials are not subject to much urging that they give a balanced view to international as well as domestic considerations.
The slowness with which the government has removed restrictions on imports and foreign equity investments is a reflection of this imbalance of pressures. The government recognizes the problem, however, and is trying to broaden thinking by sending junior officers of ministries besides Foreign Affairs to overseas posts for asments of up to three years.Tuttle ND housewives personals
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