Can Small Businesses Make Money from Japan?




Can small businesses make money from Japan? 


The answer is gYES.h  -- Because the Japanese love foreign products.


Maybe you imagine the Japanese are still wearing their traditional clothes (kimono) daily, but that is not true.  Today kimono is only a ceremonial costume for special occasions, such as funeral or wedding.  If you are staying in Tokyo for one month, probably you will never see a person wearing kimono on the street.  Such traditional Japanese products as kimono are no longer good-sellers in Japan.


On the other hand, foreign products are selling well.


Years ago, the gforeign productsh or gimported productsh meant gquality productsh in Japan.  Today the situation has changed (as the shares of the Western products has been lowered in the whole imported products), but the stores are still full of foreign products and foreign brands.  Now many of the Japanese consider foreign brands more trustable than those of Japan, with a few exceptions such as high-tech appliance.  From the cuisine, fashion, movies to the financial institutions, the Japanese prefer foreign things.


Many of the young Japanese have their gfavorite foreign country.h The living standard in Japan is not very high – especially for young people – as rents, foods, transportation and other things are very expensive.  However, traveling abroad is comparatively easy for Japanese because of their strong currency – Yen (JPY).  However strange it may sound, the currency is strong enough to enable the poor Japanese to enjoy a much higher living standard or luxuries that they can never have in their own country.  This explains the reason why the world is so full of the Japanese tourists.  Especially for young Japanese, who are told to withhold their opinions under the Japanese culture, it sometimes is a cultural shock to meet foreigners strongly expressing their opinions.  For such reasons, many young Japanese who have enjoyed a higher standard of living and learned how to express themselves often become a gfanh of the country where they are staying.  Some of the fascinated persons become a gmaniach of the culture of that country. 


In this way, you can see in Japan a lot of gFrance maniacs,h gSpain maniacs,h gItaly maniacs,h gCzech maniacs,h gRussia maniacs,h gChina maniacs,h gKorea maniacs,h gIndia maniacs,h gVietnam maniacs,h etc.  Some of them become an importer of the goods of their favorite countries because they are not satisfied with being a mere user of such goods.  Such people will be a good customer for the small businesses in their gfavoriteh foreign country.


Lately the unemployment of the young is one of the biggest social problems in Japan.  At the same time, however, some of the young Japanese fascinated by foreign cultures are starting their own businesses related with such cultures.  Importing is just one of such businesses.  If a small business does business with them, it can even help young people in Japan as well as making profits from the worldfs second largest economy.


Most unexpectedly, such gentrepreneurshiph is recently diffusing among the so-called gsalary man,h that is, the Japanese white-collar workers.


Years ago, the Japanese white-collar workers, protected by the so-called gseniority systemh and glifetime employment,h were so loyal to their company that they did not normally think of doing a side business.  However, the recession from the early 1990s has been making their employment unstable.  Even if they can remain employed, they cannot prospect for increasing income from the company.  In addition, the Internet now enables them to do their own business at low cost.  Under such conditions, an increasing number of Japanese white-collar workers are trying to start their own business.  Lately, such trend is called gthe weekend entrepreneurshiph in Japan.


Most of the gweekend entrepreneursh are ginfopreneurs.h  It is because in general you can provide the information at much lower cost in comparison with selling physical matters.  Most of them earn money from advertising fees in their own newsletters (which is called gmerumaga,h an abbreviation of g(e-)mail magazineh).


Such Japanese weekend entrepreneurs (= infopreneurs) must be good customers for foreign small businesses.  Always such entrepreneurs are seeking for new information and/or know-how.  Information about the foreign new businesses or know-how is always popular in Japan (one of the latest big hits is gRich Dad, Poor Dadh by Robert Kiyosaki.  Now, gRich Dadh is very often mentioned in Japanese investment advertisements).  You must know that it is very possible that Japanese infopreneurs may buy your information or ask for your licensing.  If you are an inforpreneur already successful, the Japanese may express their wish to learn from you.


In this way, Japanese individuals or small companies may be your good customers, but there is one problem – Language.


Generally speaking, the Japanese are very poor at foreign languages.  Except for a few educated elites, almost nobody can speak, read or write any communicative English.  Accordingly, an English website or catalogue is not good enough if you really want to do business with Japanese.  You must have a website or catalogue at least partially translated into Japanese.  Also you need to cooperate with a Japanese website owner or newsletter issuer for help.


We (gcs-trans.bizh) are operating a translation business in Japan.  We translate English, Czech, Slovak and Russian texts into Japanese.  We are trying hard to provide foreign business information for Japanese entrepreneurs or infopreneurs in our Japanese web pages.  We can examine, translate and announce your information for free of charge (if your text is brief enough).  If you wish to sell your ginformation productsh for the Japanese infopreneurs, entrepreneurs and any other persons, we are able to sell them in your behalf.  We have another Japanese websites specialized in marketing and selling such ginformation products.h


If you are interested, please e-mail us with your name, address and telephone number.


à Resources Books on Japan  [Law]

[Banking and Finance]


List of Recently Promulgated Japanese Laws

              Japanese Laws Promulgated in 2003  Japanese Laws Promulgated in 2002  Japanese Laws Promulgated in 2001

English Translations of Major Japanese Laws

              Civil Code  Commercial Code  Law Application Principles Act  Banking Act  Investment Trust and Investment Corporation Act  Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act  Business Registration Act  Customs Act  Customs Tariff Act  Foreign Lawyers Act


Japanese Business Information

              Can a Small Business Make Money from Japan?  Fund-Raising in/from Japan  Venture Capitals in Japan  How to Buy a Real Estate in Japan?  How to Buy a Company in Japan?


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