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Japan

In: People

Submitted By ursoldier75
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Japan
Bill Cook
Westwood College

February 4, 2013

Japan
History
Japan is a country that has been around for a long time and is filled with conflicts and extremes. Japan is known for the way they do things and it’s state of the art technology, solid fighting traditions and superior creative achievements. Japan is an island that so close to the mainland, yet it’s still very much secluded. Throughout history, there have been several ideas that have been adopted from both Asia and the West that believe with Japan being so secluded from the mainland, this has developed the country into a distinctive cultural of crossbreeds. As a result, Japan is a country that has traces of many developments and it its own unique identity. Even though the Japan has very few natural resources and has experienced several natural disasters, Japan has learned to continue to push through a complicated system of where there is a great need of dependency and feeling the obligation to work together in the country where survival is quite difficult.
Economy
Every country has its own form of money, which is called currency. In Japan, their currency is called “Yen”. According to London South East of the History of Japanese Yen (www.lse.co.uk/currency), Japanese coins were first modeled on Chinese coins. 'The word “Yen” plainly means, “circle” and the original coins were rounded and had either a square or round hole in the center of the coin. Since 1871, Yen has been the approved unit of currency in Japan, and the Bank of Japan has been producing the Yen since 1885. Although Yen is the only way that Japan does business when it comes to money, its value to the American dollar is nothing. To give an example of the Yen-US Dollar conversion, 10 Yen only equal 11 cents. As you can see, that is not much at all. So now that we have spoken about the currency used in Japan, lets talk about how Yen is used in the business world in the Gross National Product (GNP) and Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
So, what exactly is the definition of GNP? According to Trading Economics, (www.tradingeconomics.com) Gross National Product (GNP) measures how much all the products and services that are made during a certain period of time is worth whether its by a month, quarter, semi annual, or yearly. This is all calculated by how much labor and land is supplied by the people of a country. When it comes down to it, Gross National Product is equal to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) when it is reduced by income earned inside the domestic economy by the people that live overseas residents and stretched by income that the people overseas invested. It is also said from the Trading Economics (www.tradingeconomics.com) that the Gross National Product in Japan has in 2012 increased from 515138.30 JPY (Japanese Yen) Billion in the second quarter to 515709.20 JPY Billion in the third quarter of 2012. So, who exactly reports the GNP in Japan? The GNP is reported by the Cabinet Office in Japan.
So what exactly is Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which can also be called Gross Domestic Income (GDI)? According to Trading Economics (www.tradingeconomics.com), GDP is one of the ways that the national income is measured through output. There are three ways to measure GDP so that they could get matching results. The first way to measure the GDP is to make sure it is equal to the total costs that the final goods and services made inside the country in a stated period of time which normally is based on a year. The second way to measure the GDP is to make sure it is equal to the total amount that the products are worth at the different phases of the production by all the industries, then to add the taxes and subtract any aid that was given on the products. The third way to measure the GDP is to make sure it is equal to the total amount of income that was made by production like payment of employees, taxes on production and imports subtracting any aid, and gross operating surplus.
There was not much knowledge on Japan in regards to there being a free enterprise and if it was encouraged or allowed. It was noted that after the earthquake and tsunami March 11, 2011, there were several business that came to help the country get back on their feet. There is a company that is part of the U.S. Chamber Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) that keeps record of the help and donations to countries when these kinds of disasters happen as it did in Japan. Well according to Stephan Jordan and Blair Latoff (Jordan & Latoff, 2011) as of March 23, 2011 they were very excited to report that the business population was able to make cash and/or in-kind donations of more than $200.8 million. In that figure, they also state that it includes 222 U.S. based companies, multinational corporations and foreign companies, as well as U.S. Chamber members and non-members. There have been at least 72 companies that have promised to donate $1 million or more in cash and/or in-kind help. Out of those 222 businesses that donated to Japan, 157 were U.S. based companies, gave $156 million in help.
Unemployment is not only bad in the U.S., but it is bad in several countries, to include Japan. According to Jerin Mathew, (Mathew, 2013), the unemployment rate in Japan has moved up to 4.2 percent in December, 2013 from the 4.1% in November, 2012. Because of this, it has become very hard to address the country's current efforts to attack the financial slowdown under the new leadership of Shinzo Abe. Before the unemployment got bad, Japan used to have lots of people participating in work activities, such as community projects and etc. Because of the employment issue, the amount of people participating has went from 58.9% in 2011 to 58.5% in 2012. This not only has affected the participation in the country, but also has affected, retail sales and churches. Retail stores are indeed rising in sales but have slowed down dramatically. In the churches, the offerings have decreased by .7% from 2011.
Culture
There are several people that misjudge Japan and think that everyone that lives there basically are the same and participate in the same kind of things and to top it off, that they all speak the same language. Well, as mentioned by (Hashi, 2012), yes there is a primary language that over 125 million speakers speak, and Japanese is that language. Japanese is East Asian national language that is mainly spoken in Japan. It is a member of the Japonic (or Japanese-Ryukyuan) language family, which many people argue that the language is related to the Korean and Altaic language family. No, Japan is definitely not India, where they have 21 plus languages that they speak, but there are more languages than just Japanese. To be exact, there are eight other languages that only Japan speaks: * Standard Japanese or Hyoujungo * Ainu * Hachijo * Amami * Miyako * Yaeyama * Yonaguni * Japanese Sign Language (JSL)
In America, we have a few different religions present. Well, so does Japan. To be exact, Japan has five different religions with Shinto and Buddhism being their two main religions. According to the Japanese guide (www.japan-guide.com), Shinto is the religion that came into play right when the Japanese culture became alive. Buddhism was brought into the country from the mainland in the 6th century. Since then, these two religions have been working together and be able to agree on the most part in the way they operate to even a point where they have complemented each other in certain things. The majority of the people in the country claim to be Buddhist, Shintoist, or even as weird as it may seem, but both. Out of all the people that reside in Japan, 51% are Shintoist and 44% are Buddhist. Today, the religion is not as of an important part of their life as it was several hundred years ago. They still follow the religious customs though when it comes to a child being born, when someone is getting married, or when someone has passed away. There are still a few people in Japan that visit a shrine, or temple on New Years Day and get involved in local celebrations, which are called a Matsuri.
So the part that everyone in every country loves, holidays. Well, Japan is a country that celebrates many holidays. Even though, there are many holidays and celebrations, Japan recognizes over 14 holidays in their country. According to the holidays in Japan (www.gocurrency.com) the Public Holiday Law of 1948 determines which cases are acknowledged as a legal holiday. January 1, New Year's Day: In Japan this day is big, which gives three days off of work. At midnight the bell in the Buddhist temple rings 108 times. January 15, Coming of Age Day: This day recognizes all the men and women that have turned 20 years of age and now are considered adults. February 11, National Foundation Day: This day represents the anniversary of the enthronement of the mythical first emperor, Jimmu Tenno. March 21, the Vernal Equinox: Has Buddhist origins; This is a day that the people in Japan visit their families and go to the graves of family members. April 29, Greenery Day: Previously marked the Showa Emperor's birthday; after his death, it became a day to appreciate nature. May 3, Constitution Day: Honors the 1947 Constitution. May 5, Children's Day: This is a day that they Celebrates the children of Japan. The families with children fly carp (fish)-shaped streamers. September 15, Respect the Aged Day: This is a day that the elderly people in Japan are recognized. September 23, The Autumnal Equinox: Similar to the Vernal Equinox; This is another day in the year to tend to and visit the graves of the family. October 10, Sports Day: This is a day that they observe to recognize the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and encourages everyone to have good health through sports. November 3, Culture Day: Promotes cultural activities. November 23, Labor Thanksgiving Day: Observed for the people in Japan that work and is a way to express their thanks for the fruits of their effort. December 23, the Emperor's Birthday: Current emperor's birthday.
When deciding to do business in Japan, it is very important to know the way they operate. If you do not know what, to do then it is best that you find a book or CD or some kind of learning software so that you do not fail and lose business while there or conducting business internationally. With some help from Kwintessential (www.kwintessential.co.uk), I was able to locate some etiquettes and protocols in business in Japan. First off its important to understand Japans ways of business. The Japanese people definitely understand that it is going to be extremely difficult for us immigrants to work in Japan. They understand that we may not be able to speak their language in a crystal way, or even be up to date in their strict cultural ways of protocol. All they want is that when we make a mistake or mess up that we show genuine respect for them at all times. Matter of fact, they will do everything in their power to help you and you will notice that they will get upset with themselves because they are having issues to understand our own language. After this, it’s very important that we understand the way they establish relationships with and the communication they use. The Japanese choose to conduct business on the foundation of building personal relationships. If you know someone that has or is already doing business with the company, that is a huge plus because then the Japanese already knows where to place you on the ladder compared to their own self. Just in America, a great way to build a relationship with Japanese people is with small gifts, and proper greetings and sound sincere and with a high level of self-pride. Knowing how to negotiate with the Japanese is a huge benefit you could have. Before we can negotiate, we must know how they operate and what signs mean what. Never lose your temper or raise your voice during negotiations. There are going to be times when the Japanese have their eyes closed and you may feel offended. Well, please don’t be offended because when the Japanese close their eyes, that means they are really trying to focus on what is being said so they have a visual in their head. When doing business with the Japanese, do not approach the table asking for discounts. They do not like that. They expect that the both us come to the table and ready present their best offer possible. At the same time, once you feel that you may have reached an agreement and are putting in place a contract, please note that Japanese do not see contracts as being in stone. They want to be able to renegotiate if they feel something is not right.
According to Trading Economics (www.tradingeconomics.com), in 2012, Japan’s population closed at 127.8 million from the 94.1 million that was in 1960. This was a 36% increase in people in the past 50 years, which was reported by the World Bank in Japan. Japan is made up of many little islands, with Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku being the four largest. The closest countries to Japan are Korea, Russia and China, at which it is 115 miles east of Korea. Japan is 143,619 square miles in size which is a little bit smaller than the state of California.
Government
Japan is a country that is located off the northeast coast of Asia’s mainland. According to Answers.com (www.answers.com), In 660 B.C. Japan settled Japan's and the history began in the 5th century A.D. During the medieval period, which was from the 12th century to the19th century, the shoguns literally ran the show. They had all the power in which everyone answered to them. As they were getting excited and felt they were untouchable, their power spontaneously ended as the emperor Mutsuhito was reinstated in 1868. Feudalism was eliminated, and this made it where the country was open to Western trade and industrial technology. From that point there were several people trying to intervene with the trade and technologies that Japan had developed which in return led to Japan participating in World War II. This war ended in a very sad way with atomic bombs being dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945. Today the country is extremely educated in industrial environments and known for its cutting edge technology. Tokyo is the capital and the largest city. The way a country is ran is by a government. A government can basically lay down the law what the people of that country can or cannot do. According to wiki answers (www.wiki.answers.com) Japan is a constitutional monarchy, which means that the emperor has very little power on the country. Japan’s main form of government is constructed on the British parliamentary model. This means that Japan has a cabinet of ministers, which is lead by the Prime Minister and the two-house parliament, which is also known as the Diet and, unlike Great Britain at the time, Japan has a true ranked legal system with a Supreme Court. This government was established by the 1947 Constitution. The relationship between the U.S. and Japan has been like a roller coaster. Over the years, they have come together and then bumped heads. According to Keith Porter (Porter, 2013), the initial interaction that the U.S. and Japan had was through merchants and explorers. Later down the road in the mid 1800's numerous representatives from the U.S. traveled to Japan with a simple mission to come together with negotiation to establish trade agreements, which also included Commodore Matthew Perry in 1852, whom was able to negotiate the first trade treaty and the Convention of Kanagawa. As a result, the Japanese came to the U.S. in 1860 with the hopes of hopes of bringing the trade relations between Japan and the U.S. as strong as ever. In 1941, Japan and the U.S. broke out in a out rage against each other when Japan dropped a bomb on the American naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii which started World War II. In 1945, Japan was bombed back with an atomic bomb leaving a huge amount of casualties which ended the war. After the bombing, Japan surrendered and as a result, it allowed forces from the other countries to come in and take control of japan and clean it up. As the U.S. changed Japan, they put in place a new constitution for Japan. Over the next seven years of the U.S. having control, they slowly turned over the government back to Japan’s new government and now because of that, Japan and the U.S. have a very close relationship, to include today.

References

Hashi (2012). Japan’s other Languages. Retrieved from www.tofugu.com
Jordan, S., & Latoff, B. (2011). Businesses Come to Japan’s Aid. Retrieved from www.freeenterprise.com
Mathew, J. (2013). Japan Unemployment Rate Rises to 4.2% in December, 2012. Retrieved from www.ibtimes.co.uk
Porter, K. (2013). The Relationship of the U.S. with Japan. Retrieved from usforeignpolicy.about.com

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Japan

...Market has become vital to the U.S. Economy. Japan is the number one export market for the United States. In 1993, Japan accounted for 37.6 percent of the total growth in U.S. value-added exports. U.S. food products, in particular, are a huge market in Japan. American agricultural exports to Japan in 1993 were $8.7 billion. About one-third of Japanese agricultural imports come from the United States. However, there is sometimes a mixed reception in Japan regarding products from the United States. Japanese, on one hand, wish to do things "American" ever since the Second World War. But, on the other hand, U.S. products are perceived as less sophisticated than Japanese and European food products, in product formulation or packaging. Also, U.S. products are considered not as safe as domestics ones, due to the use of pesticides and chemical additives and the partiality of the Japanese consumer to purchase Japanese items. The reason for the large volume of exporting to Japan is due to United State's comparative advantages. Food products are very expensive to produce in Japan. Japan's current labor shortage, combined with import restrictions and domestic price stabilization programs, have driven up domestic production costs. The Japanese food consumption pattern consist of an openness to foreign products and a strong interest in things international. All types of international cuisine can be found in Japan. Many varieties of tropical and imported......

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