Capital the world, 123) Geographically, Japan is an

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Capital City:
Tokyo population: 13 million (city), 32.5 million people (metro area)

Tokyo Metropolitan
Area is the largest in the world with the second highest being in Seoul, South
Korea, with a population of 20.5 million people.

The Largest
Japanese Cities: Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Kobe, Sapporo, Kyoto, Saitama, Fukuoka,
Hiroshima, and Sendai

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Population: 127.3
million 11th largest population country in the world (2016).

Area: 377,864 sq.
km (145,894 sq. miles), 61st largest country by total land area.

Main languages:
Japanese, English (taught in high schools)

Main religions
Shintoism, Taoism, Buddhism

Major Ethnic
groups: Japanese (approximately 98% of population), Korean (0.5%), Chinese
(0.4%), Other (1.1%)

Life expectancy at
birth: 80 years (men), 87 years (women) 83 years(average) Highest in the world

Currency: Japanese
Yen (?¥)

UNDP Human
Development Index (HDI): 0.891 (2015, 20th in the world)

GDP per capita
(International $, PPP): $36, 680 (2016 Worldbank)

Literacy Rate, age
15 and over can read and write: 99%

Unemployment rate:

Male: 8.7%

Female: 7.1% (2012
Rank in comparison to the world, 123)


Japan is an archipelago that consists of over 6,750 islands and volcanoes
located in the Pacific Ring of Fire. The Pacific Ring of Fire has more than 70%
of the world’s active volcanoes located on it and causes 90 percent of the
world’s earthquakes due to the immense amount of pressure created from the
tectonic plates. Japan consists of four main islands, Honshu, Kyushu, Hokkaido,
Shikoku, and make up 97 percent of the nation’s total land area.


Closing thoughts:
Japan is one of the most beautiful and geographically diverse nations in the
world with tropical jungles located in the southern parts of Kyushu, and mountains
covered in snow North of Hokkaido; also featuring a Palace of ice in Sapporo
during the winter. It boasts a 99% literacy rate for both male and female, low
unemployment rate, and a great opportunity for international trade.




The Japanese
government is a constitutional monarchy that is divided into three branches;
the Legislative, the Executive, and the Judicial. Their legal system is modeled
after the European civil law systems and has English-American influence,
judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court, and they accept
compulsory International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction with reservations.


In the Executive
branch, the chief of state is Emperor Akihito. The cabinet is appointed by the
prime minster, which is Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who is the head of
government. The judicial branch has a Supreme court and the chief justice is
appointed by the monarch and all other justices are appointed by the cabinet.


Main Political

– The Liberal
Democratic Party of Japan (LDP): Centre-right, heads the ruling coalition.

– Democratic Party
of Japan (DPJ): centrist, major opposition party.

– Japan
Restoration Party (JRP): right-wing, third largest force, but is losing

– Komeito (NK): Centre-right,
in coalition with the LDP.

– Japanese
Communist Party (JCP): left-wing, more than doubled its representation in the
last election. Current Political Leaders: Emperor: Akihito (since 7 January
1989) – hereditary

Prime Minister:
Shinz? Abe (since 26 December 2012) – Liberal Democratic Party Next Election Dates
House of Representatives: On or before 13 December 2018

House of Councilors:


Legal Environment


Japan is a civil
law country, governed by laws passed by Parliament and interpreted by

the courts. At the
beginning of the Meiji era (1868-1912), the German and French

legal systems were
the model for the Japanese court and legal system. After the

Second World War,
a major reform of the legal system took place in Japan with many

of the revised
laws being modeled on American law. Today, the Japanese legal system

remains a hybrid
of the continental European system and the Anglo-American system.


The Constitution
of Japan provides that all judicial power in Japan is vested in the

Supreme Court and
in such inferior courts as are established by law. The Court

Organization Law
establishes the following five types of courts in Japan listed in order

of judicial
authority, from highest to lowest:

(1) Supreme Court;

(2) High Courts,

(3) District

(4) Family Courts;

(5) Summary

Each level of the courts
has their own jurisdiction as constituted by the post-war constitution of 1947.
Each court renders a judgment independently and a decision of a superior court
binds the courts below in respect of the case concerned. In contrast to common
law jurisdictions,

there is no
principle of stare decisis (i.e., a court is not bound by a previous decision in

different case).




3rd largest

4th largest
purchasing power

2nd largest
developed economy

leading industrial
clusters and manufacturing centers

World’s largest
Creditor Nation

Participates in
Economic Partnership agreements

Is a member of
multiple international trade organizations such as APEC, WTO, OECD, etc.


Japan, the world’s
third largest economy, is highly exposed to external shocks because of its
strong dependence on exports. This vulnerability has been on display in recent
years, as its economy experienced periods of recession alongside the slowdown
in the global economy. Natural disasters and backlash to the 2014 VAT increase
have furthered this recessionary trend. In 2015, growth remained sluggish
(0.6%), driven by foreign trade and public consumption. It is expected to
rebound slightly in 2016, led by strong exports and household consumption.


Moving forward,
budgetary consolidation will remain a key issue for the country as it tries to
bring its debt levels under control. The ageing of the population and political
tensions with China and South Korea are additional concerns that Japan will
have to address in the years to come.




Technological Environment
means forces that create new technologies, creating new product and market
opportunities (81). Japan is a good example of technological environment
because it is known for its high technology and it has its distinct market.
This is especially true when one sees the cell-phone market in Japan. Cell
phones are must have gadget to Japanese, especially for people in Tokyo where
they spend majority of the day outside of their home. Japanese cell-phones have
thus developed as more than a phone and have their own features. This
technological advance together with the high usage of cell phones caused Japan
to have its own marketing system.



Japan is a very
high-context culture – communication doesn’t require a lot of words, which can
be irritating for people from cultures with a lower context. The context also
includes non-verbal communication, that is very important. There are books for
foreigners that explain the different gestures and body language codes of Japanese

Japanese avoid eye
contact when they want privacy and to stare into someone’s eyes, especially
when this person is older or has a higher status, is very impolite. It is also
interesting that nonverbal messages can be clearer than words, as the
high-contextuality of this culture allows words to have several meanings –
whereas in western societies, words seem more reliable than the nonverbal

In contrast to western
societies (and France), there is a high level of collectivism. At the same
time, or rather because of that, it is crucial to Japanese people to save their
face. They avoid direct confrontation and always stay polite. Therefore, the
level of assertiveness is equal zero: being straightforward is social suicide.
But there is not only this in-group collectivism – national institutions and
the organization of the whole culture is group-centered. The company is the
second family and a lot of time is spent there. What western people call
self-evaluation is not important to Japanese people – the group judges how
effective something is, not the individual. Because of the strong sense for
groups / the high level of collectivism, harmony is an extremely important value
in Japan.

Japan has a long-term
orientation. Traditional values are considered very important Japan. Older
people are held in very high esteem. The oldest person within a social group is
always honored and respected. When drinks are served, they are served first,
and the drink is poured for them. It seems like the importance of prestige and
collectivism is somehow linked to this long-term orientation. The sad fact,
that a lot of Japanese men commit suicide can be explained that way. Back in
the days, samurai used to commit suicide to rehabilitate their prestige and
honor. Until today, Japanese men that face a dramatic loss of esteem, commit
suicide. A loss of esteem can also be a scandal at work or a bad mistake that
causes a setback for the company. Working for a company is also a long-term and
future-oriented matter. That’s why in Japan, it is not (only) important to have
great profit in a quarter year, but to have a strong company and serve the
steak-holders in the long run.

Men were and still are
the leading group in Japan. Japan is a male-dominated country. It is common for
women to stay at home as housewife and mom once they are married and have
children. Before women introduce themselves to others, it is also common to
mention their men’s profession and children’s school first to express her
social status. Genders are not equal in Japan.

When it comes to power
distance, it is important to notice that people have a strong sense for
hierarchy. When your boss wants to drink tea with you, not accepting is a
no-go. When you greet a person with higher power, you must bend your back
enough to be physically lower than your opposite. In school, children are
taught to address to older students as “seniors”. As all decisions
are made by groups though, the power distance is not as strong as the social
order suggests.

Concerning the level of
uncertainty avoidance, you can say that Japan belongs to the countries with the
highest level of uncertainty avoidance. The geographic setting threatens their
life with earthquakes, tsunamis and volcano eruptions. To deal with this
situation, Japanese are used to prepare for worst-case scenarios. 

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