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Meet the Expert
Chairman, Global Reach KK
- More than 40 years of Asian experience in senior positions advising business and government, leading or advising on government and business negotiations, and in research and graduate business education, all focused on Japan, China and Vietnam.
- Served two Presidents in White House posts at the Office of Policy Development and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, 1982 to 1992. Assistant U.S. Trade Representative and chief U.S. trade negotiator with Japan and China from 1985 to 1992 with primary responsibility for the development and implementation of U. S. trade policy and negotiating strategy toward Japan and the People's Republic of China. Led all negotiations with China, securing landmark agreements on intellectual property protection and market access, and led or played a major role in some thirty negotiations with Japan across all major industrial and commercial sectors.
- Professor and Founding Director of the Center for International Business at Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business.
- Led the U.S. team in a joint Vietamese-American initiative that launched Vietnam's first modern business school, the Hanoi School of Business at the Vietnam National University in Hanoi. Supervised the training of 350 senior executives of companies that today account for more than 35 percent of Vietnam's GDP.
- Have advised numerous Fortune Global 500 clients on Asian market entry, business development, government relations and regulatory strategies.
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Doing Business with the Japanese
Chairman, Global Reach KK
Risks & Opportunities
RisksThe risks for companies considering market entry to Japan include:
- Very competitive and increasingly price-sensitive market: Product or service needs to be innovative and meet Japan’s famously high quality/standards.
- Aging workforce, which could make it difficult to find workers in the years to come.
- Geographical risks such as earthquakes and tsunamis, which can have an impact on business operations.
- Some political risk, especially if Japan's relations with China continue to deteriorate.
- The language barrier and other cultural differences, which can slow down the timelines for conducting business in Japan and may not be feasible for some companies, depending on the product or service.
OpportunitiesThe opportunities for companies considering market entry to Japan include:
- As the world's third-largest economy, Japan offers a lot of opportunity for companies to find growth if the product or service meets a need or creates demand.
- Japan's wealthy population is willing to spend money on consumer goods and services, in particular luxury items.
- Young retirement age could present opportunity for companies looking for experienced management, staff or consultants.
- Policies to encourage more women to participate in the workforce could broaden the talent pool for companies entering the market.
- Aging population could be an opportunity for companies in the medical services or pharmaceutical industry given that older citizens tend to spend more on health care products and services.
- As home base of many world-class tech firms, and with excellent IP protection and strong government policies and incentives in IT and other tech, Japan provides great opportunities for truly innovative companies.
- The Japanese diet, in which soybean products, vegetables, grains and seafood play a large part, as do wine, beer, and coffee, could present opportunities for companies with innovative products or services in these sectors.
Doing Business with the Japanese: Risks & Opportunities