Libmonster ID: U.S.-1402
Author(s) of the publication: R. MOSEEV
Educational Institution \ Organization: Moscow State Open University

Japan is the second most powerful economic power in the world, and therefore it is quite understandable that our entrepreneurs are interested in establishing mutually beneficial cooperation with the business community of this country. It should be noted that since the beginning of economic reforms in Russia and in Russia's relations with its eastern neighbor, noticeable changes have taken place, but in general, the state of business cooperation between the two countries leaves much to be desired. Admittedly, their level does not meet mutual interests and does not correspond to the existing potential capabilities of the two countries.

Among the reasons hindering the development of this process, we should mention the lack of a peace treaty, unresolved territorial issues, as well as the Japanese wariness about the criminalization of the Russian economy, the prevailing corruption in it, and the lack of a generally recognized legal framework. The inability of our entrepreneurs to do business with the Japanese also does not contribute to the development of good-neighborly contacts. For many of them, the Land of the rising Sun is still "terra incognita". They judge the life and affairs of its population superficially. Trying to establish contacts, they do not delve into the essence of the problems of this country, do not think about the peculiarities of the Japanese national character, which ultimately leads to failures.


The American magazine "Newsweek" once conducted a kind of sociological experiment, trying to find out the most promising form of business organization. In the course of a journalistic investigation, its organizers scrupulously studied the psychology, mindset, lifestyle, and career of two typical "average" entrepreneurs in the United States and Japan. We analyzed the history of businessmen, each of whom reached, in general, the same level.

American Tom Hezlet went sailing through life alone, relying only on his own resourcefulness, intelligence, and enterprise. Mastering the science of private entrepreneurship, overcoming the complexities of competition, he achieved his goals in life and business, although the road to success was by no means covered with roses. Be that as it may. Tom Hezlet managed to organize his own recruitment firm for American companies, received a guaranteed income and now draws satisfaction not only from work, but also from communicating with his family and children, to whom he can devote the free time.

Japanese businessman Shigeo started his search for happiness as a junior manager in the import department of one of the domestic industrial giants. Brought up in the best samurai traditions (loyalty to his duty, respect for his elders), he began serving in the corporation after school and university. His hard work, diligence and, most importantly, knightly loyalty did not go unnoticed. According to Newsweek, Shigeo has made clear progress by Japanese standards. He was entrusted to head one of the leading departments of the corporation, he has a solid income, he got a two-story house, even has a garden, which is considered very prestigious here. The businessman, like his American counterpart, is confident in the future.

These two happy endings are typical examples for the vast majority of business people in the world's leading countries, the journal summarizes its research. Which one is preferable? The magazine, without concealing its sympathy for the American version, notes that in the minds of business people in Japan and the United States, two radically opposite approaches to how to conduct their business have formed. Americans emphasize personality, individualism, considering that "even one in the field is a warrior." Residents of the Land of the Rising Sun strictly adhere to the principle of collectivism, nepotism, and corporatism. Loyalty to the leader in Japanese business is valued above many other virtues. It is at the heart of large companies ' relationships with their employees, guaranteeing them custody and protection even in times of economic downturn.

The tendency to unite and strive to "live as one family" is typical not only for the largest corporations. It permeates the entire Japanese economy, which is based on the principle of fruitful coexistence of monopolies and small firms. Despite the fact that Japan ranks first among the developed industrial countries in terms of

page 71

According to statistics, 12 of the 20 largest corporations in the world are Japanese), small and medium-sized enterprises account for almost half of the country's industrial output. In small (sometimes poorly equipped) workshops, where families work and where labor is cheap, sometimes complex parts for electronics, cars, and home appliances are produced. These mini-firms are firmly tied to their employers.

The system of relations between large and small enterprises is based on the principle of paternalism, unquestioning subordination of small businesses to leading companies that play the role of "father and patron". This binding is passed down from generation to generation and boils down to the fact that every Japanese person, having connected his life with one of the largest corporations, is, as it were, in a lifetime employment. For this dedication and loyalty, he, in turn, receives guaranteed support and protection. Hence the loyalty, predictability of the Japanese, their incomparable frankness in their relations with each other.

According to the famous American manager Lee Iacocca, who speaks highly of the Japanese model of management, " the government, workers and managers all work in the same team." The reasons for this unity, according to the founder and long-term president of Sony Corporation Akio Morito, is that the Japanese are obsessed with the struggle for survival. "Literally every day the ground trembles under our feet, "he writes in his book Made in Japan. "We live on volcanic islands under the constant threat of not only strong earthquakes, but also typhoons, tsunamis, fierce snowstorms, and spring floods." However, it is not only in the maelstrom of this complex and risky confrontation with the dangers of the environment that one should look for an explanation of why the Japanese have such a strong sense of elbow. Yes, corporate identity is one of the main features of their way of life and character, but it should be taken into account that such a model of management is constantly instilled and fixed in the minds of Japanese people by the most existing system of relationships in society.

At one of the Mitsubishi Corporation enterprises in Tokyo, I happened to see the schedule for holding meetings of shop workers. I must say that the schedule was very full of various kinds of collective events and, judging by the agenda, along with professional issues, they widely discussed problems related to, so to speak, the "patriotism" of its employees, their attitude to "their" enterprise. It was felt that the management of companies constantly, as we would say in Soviet times, "works with the team." This fact is confirmed by another observation. As it turned out, the modern Japanese model of production organization, among other things, assumes that colleagues sometimes gather in a drinking establishment after a working day, so to speak, to strengthen official ties in an informal setting. Sometimes the "formation of a moral climate" results in a very stormy feast, but private firms interested in team building and, to a certain extent, following tradition, do not spare money for this, allocate special representative funds, sometimes very decent.


Religion occupies a special place in the formation of a business person's ethical views, norms of behavior, and morals. Entrepreneurs in many countries, when preparing their professional code, start from the moral ideals laid down in religion. The Bible is the source of spiritual education where people believe in Jesus Christ. Christians traditionally rely on two main moral guidelines in their actions: the Ten commandments of Moses from the Old Testament, which most often speaks about the relationship between God and the people, and the Sermon on the Mount of Jesus from the Gospel, which highlights the relationship between God and the individual and his soul. In Islam, the source of moral education is the Koran. The Holy Book of Muslims not only takes care of the soul, but also gives a whole series of practical tips on how to behave a believer in commercial matters, so as not to offend the faith and Allah.

Japan is called the country of the three creeds. All of them, co-existing in an atmosphere of peace, mutual tolerance and respect, contributed to the formation of the "mysterious" Japanese soul. The state religion is Shintoism, which claims that everything in the world is animated and endowed with holiness. This native Japanese religion has endowed the inhabitants of the Land of the Rising Sun with a love of nature, cleanliness and faith in their divine origin.

Buddhism penetrated the Japanese islands in the middle of the first millennium, becoming a privilege of the nobility. It came along with the Chinese culture and language, which was noticed by our famous compatriot writer Ivan Goncharov, who visited Japan on the frigate Pallada in the middle of the XIX century. He wrote that " the Japanese know everything in Chinese, only pronounce the Chinese script in their own way. In general, everything: language, faith, customs, clothing, culture and upbringing, everything came to them from the Chinese." Buddhism opened the way for the Japanese to tolerance, wisdom, perseverance, and the ability to resist the vicissitudes of fate.

Confucianism also penetrated from China to Japan, which left a noticeable mark on the formation of the Japanese "way of life", its ethical basis. I must say that the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius (551-479 BC) had a huge impact on the formation of moral norms in the entire Far East. The main rule that must be followed all your life according to Confucius is "ren". His main postulate boils down to the requirement: do not do to others what you do not want to do to yourself. It is interesting that this principle is also present in the Gospel: "In all things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, so do ye also unto them" (Mt 97: 12). Therefore, we can say that the Confucian canon is a kind of Eastern Bible. It includes the theory and practice of moral self-improvement, pointing out that people's relationships should be determined by " wisdom, loyalty to duty."

Confucian ideas and traditions gave Japanese ethics such moral forms as respect for elders, loyalty to one's parents, and responsibility to them. With an eye on his superiors, a Japanese businessman will never overstep the limits of the powers granted to him in business communication. No matter how much you try to persuade them in the course of commercial negotiations to take, say, steps, even if they are profitable for them, they will never take responsibility and make an independent decision. At best, he will postpone it for a while, until it is approved by the management. Moreover, it should be borne in mind that the Japanese, even if you do not agree with them.-

page 72

vowel, won't say no. Because that's what Japanese etiquette, tradition, and upbringing require. "Those who tread softly will go far on their way," he was taught from childhood. Following this ancient saying, he will be extremely polite, courteous. But, while remaining in his position, he will nod his head with a smile, avoiding the categorical "no"in every possible way. Western negotiators, knowing the Japanese tendency to avoid a direct answer, never try to force events when concluding contracts. The Japanese strongly reject the pragmatism of the Americans, expressed in the formula "time - money". This does not mean that they are indifferent to money and do not save time. It is important for them to maintain the harmony of the existing relations, so by insisting on their own, experienced Europeans try not to put their Japanese partner in a position that would force him to "lose face". We must be patient and wait for the answer. By the way, the Japanese smile should also not be taken at face value. He, for example, smiling, can reject all your offers. External politeness, etiquette for him - first of all. A smile also means that " yes, we did not agree, I have a setback, but this concerns only me, and I do not want to spoil your mood with my worries."


Psychologists say that in the course of a business contact, up to 70 percent of information is obtained through nonverbal means of communication. By facial expressions, eyes, and gestures, you can often learn much more about your interlocutor than by his speech. The inner world and psychological state of a person is reflected in his behavior and facial expressions. If we are talking about a negotiating partner, then just by the way he greeted you, how he responded to your greeting, what position he took when starting the conversation, we can assume in what direction the contact will develop.

Experts believe that it is easier to deal with representatives of peoples whose behavior is characterized by expressiveness and openness. The more emotional a person is, the harder it is to hide their feelings and intentions. An Arab or Italian belonging to the so-called "contact" group of peoples has their mood, psychological state, as they say, written on their face. Pay attention to how they behave when communicating: emotions overflow over the edge, very often their mood and desires are easily recognized by their gestures, expressive eyes, timbre and volume of voice. They are easier than others, you can "wind up" and call for frankness.

In this regard, the Japanese are considered to be the most difficult category of business partners. Their passions, and even more weaknesses, they try in every possible way to keep secret. Tacit restraint is the foundation of prudence, they say. As sophisticated diplomats, Japanese businessmen sometimes do not change their facial expressions during the entire hours-long conversation, but remain impartial and secretive. The whole gamut of feelings is veiled under the mask of politeness and foresight. You need to be a subtle and experienced psychologist to unravel the true state of their soul and state of mind. One more detail is important. Japanese people will never grab their interlocutor by the hand or by the button of their jacket, which is very common among representatives of the so-called "contact" peoples. However, when communicating with a compatriot, this rule is sometimes violated. They regard touching a foreigner as a loss of self-control, or an expression of unfriendliness and aggressive intentions. You should avoid patting your Japanese partner on the shoulder, otherwise you will disrupt the negotiations and, worse, make yourself an enemy.

It should be noted that the Japanese are inherently receptive. The unity in actions, thoughts, and emotions generated by corporatism does not exclude the individuality of this particular person, the presence of some features inherent only to her. Individualism, weaknesses, inclinations, shortcomings, as well as positive qualities, every Japanese person has to an appropriate extent, just like a resident of any other country. In short, as the famous classic claimed, "nothing human is alien to them." Therefore, Western businessmen, when making contacts, always try to give business relations a personal character.

The path to the Japanese soul is thorny and long. Indeed, it is "in the dark", although, as experience shows, it is by no means an impregnable fortress. It is important to win over your partner. Without pressure, importunity and the desire to "grab the bull by the horns" to achieve its location. But if you gain trust, you will be allowed into the circle of "friends" (and the Japanese are extremely truthful in communicating with each other), the success of your enterprise is guaranteed. Moreover, by and large, the Japanese, unlike the same Italians, Arabs, are predictable in their actions.

A business introduction should start with a recommendation. Moreover, the referrer should be ranked no lower than the person you want to meet. They judge a person primarily by their belonging to a particular social group. Therefore, it is quite common to ask about your position and connections. When conducting joint business, keep the spirit of harmony, balance, do not try to "get the upper hand" over the partner, to prove your case. In Japan, the establishment of so-called trusting relationships is possible only in the long term. The Japanese approach is that if you are going to involve a person in your business, act as if you have decided to marry them and are willing to work with them for the rest of your life. Practical and determined Americans complain that sometimes tedious, lengthy negotiations can be limited to a minor deal. They recognize that they have to spend a lot of time studying a person or organization in advance and deciding whether they are truly of business interest.


The Japanese attach great importance to ritual. This is another result of the influence of the teachings of Confucius, who puts form and ceremonial at the head of everything else. According to his teaching, the norms of morality come from heaven and bear the seal of the divine. Confucius sees etiquette and decorum as one of the most important life principles that determine the nature of communication between people. He said: "Deference without ritual leads to fussiness, caution without ritual leads to fearfulness, boldness without ritual leads to confusion, directness without ritual leads to rudeness." The road to spiritual self-improvement, meaningful existence, according to Confucius, lies through form. These calls can be seen prominently in many offices in Japan. And these are not just routine slogans. They really try to follow these instructions, and it is not by chance that the local entrepreneur is distinguished-

page 73

this is an enviable diligence, concentration, energy.

Japanese politeness, which is widely known in the world , is part of the official duties of a Japanese person, if you will, his working condition. Politeness during official meetings and negotiations is striking. Communication among the Japanese begins with a bow -an obligatory element of the negotiation process. It's a strange, somewhat fascinating feeling to experience when you first watch this action. How do I respond to this greeting? Give a hand, as is customary everywhere? But the Japanese's arms are stretched out "at the seams", the palms are tightly pressed to the body. He himself froze in a half-crouched position. Respond with a "Japanese" bow? In the performance of a foreigner, this looks ridiculous and can be regarded as tactlessness. Therefore, you should carefully consider all the details of the greeting. It is important to make an equivalent response to the demonstrated courtesy. This is then, if you have gained confidence, you can allow some deviations from the obligatory and burdensome ritual for a foreigner.

Pronounced politeness is not only a tribute to the rules of good taste, but, as noted above, part of the Japanese job. However, after finishing the working day, finding himself in an unfamiliar environment, he is transformed: refinement, courtesy, and consideration disappear. If in an official setting, the Japanese behave rather stiffly and attach great importance to protocol, then outside of it, everything is different. For example, it is not customary to give up a seat in transport for the elderly, let a representative of the fair sex pass in front of you, or get up when she appears. Japanese courtesy lives only in the circle of "friends", among acquaintances, colleagues. Japanese people are always very deferential to foreigners, apparently considering communication with them as "work". Violations of the Japanese rules of etiquette are treated with leniency. However, when negotiating with Japanese partners, one should not go too far, aggravate relations, because, as Akio Morita, a popular and respected person in the country, warns, among other things, for his efforts to bring the Japanese closer to European civilization: "From the Japanese point of view, disagreements often mean the end of friendship. I constantly try to explain to the Japanese that it is not uncommon for a Westerner to get into an argument just because he is your friend. If they are silent and refuse to discuss anything, then the situation is really dangerous. For Westerners and Japanese people to ever understand each other, Japanese people must be as open as Americans in discussing problems and defending their point of view. We, both businessmen and politicians, have missed this very much in the past, and we don't seem to be learning the lessons quickly enough."

The national character of the Japanese people is characterized by an increased sense of self-criticism, responsibility for the assigned task. Of course, this is largely due to the duty of collective responsibility, which is fueled by the authorities, owners, and tradition. But in general, the sense of responsibility seems to be embedded almost in the genetic code. Hence, apparently, there are many cases of suicide, including among high-ranking officials, due to official miscalculations. Here is one example - the sensational suicide of an official from the city of Kobe, affected by the earthquake in January 1995. Responsible for the water supply, he considered that he failed in his duties, as he failed to fully provide the city's residents with drinking water after the tragedy, and made them suffer. This official, atoning for his guilt, decided to leave this world.

Unlike in the Christian world, suicide in Japan does not mean violating moral prohibitions. On the contrary, according to Japanese concepts, voluntary death is intended to prove the innocence of a person and remove the shame from him for committing an unseemly offense, whether it is a violation of the honor code or guilt in front of the family.


Japanese people do not like to be asked about their personal affairs and usually do not invite foreign guests to their homes. Among other things, this is due to the fact that many residents of the island state, including the middle class, live in cramped housing conditions. Sometimes they do this in order not to embarrass the foreigner because of his drowsiness about the elementary rules of behavior adopted in Japanese life. In the event that you are honored to be invited to the house, this is a sign of special favor to you, and it requires compliance with some at least basic rules of decency. So, before you enter the house, you need to take off your shoes. Don't forget to remove your outer clothing as well. Once upon a time, the coat had to be removed before entering the room. Now it's easier, you can also rent it indoors. The first greeting is again not a handshake, but a "long low bow". Moreover, to each person present separately. Remember that today the modern Japanese woman is emancipated and an equal participant in the conversation, although more often, according to the old tradition, ladies prefer to leave, leaving men alone. Take a place in the house where the owners indicate. The place at the entrance is considered less honorable. In particular, it is recommended that you mention your full first and last name (not necessarily a patronymic, as is customary in our country). If you need to say "Mr. So-and-so", you should give your last name and add "san". Being secretive by nature, the Japanese speak openly about their domestic affairs only with those to whom they are imbued with confidence. In general, with foreigners, even invited to visit, they keep to themselves.

In Japan, it is customary to give gifts, and your appearance with a certain gift will be perceived with understanding. Unlike our custom, gifts remain unopened until the guest leaves. If you liked the attention you showed, then the next day you will receive a thank-you note. Speaking of gifts, remember that tips are not accepted in Japan. Moreover, various kinds of gifts in the form of"gratitude for services rendered". Bribes, which are so widespread in our country, are strongly condemned here.

In general, traditional Japanese etiquette with its many archaic rules of behavior is a thing of the past. Once mandatory procedures are now considered too prim and burdensome and are extremely rare today. However, one thing remains unchanged - to please the other

Of course, these notes do not claim to be a complete description of the psychological portrait of the Japanese. Only a few touches of the traditions and lifestyle of our eastern neighbor are indicated. The goal was different. To emphasize the importance of penetrating the secrets of the" mysterious " Japanese soul, learning about this amazing country, large-scale economic cooperation, which is still waiting in the wings and which will undoubtedly be developed as a result of the Irkutsk meeting of leaders.


Permanent link to this publication:

Similar publications: LUnited States LWorld Y G


Ann JacksonContacts and other materials (articles, photo, files etc)

Author's official page at Libmonster:

Find other author's materials at: Libmonster (all the World)GoogleYandex

Permanent link for scientific papers (for citations):


Found source (search robot):

Publication author(s) - R. MOSEEV:

R. MOSEEV → other publications, search: Libmonster USALibmonster WorldGoogleYandex


Reviews of professional authors
Order by: 
Per page: 
  • There are no comments yet
Related topics
Ann Jackson
Chicago, United States
74 views rating
02.06.2024 (20 days ago)
0 subscribers
0 votes
Related Articles
Seijas Tatiana. Asian slaves in colonial Mexico. From Chinos to Indians
12 hours ago · From Ann Jackson
Escalating tensions in the South China Sea: a view from Southeast Asia, China and the United States
14 hours ago · From Ann Jackson
The experience of Filipinos ' growing into American society. INFORMATION, ANALYSIS, AND FORECAST
14 hours ago · From Ann Jackson
16 hours ago · From Ann Jackson
2 days ago · From Ann Jackson
3 days ago · From Ann Jackson
3 days ago · From Ann Jackson
4 days ago · From Ann Jackson
5 days ago · From Ann Jackson

New publications:

Popular with readers:

News from other countries:

LIBMONSTER.COM - U.S. Digital Library

Create your author's collection of articles, books, author's works, biographies, photographic documents, files. Save forever your author's legacy in digital form. Click here to register as an author.
Library Partners


Editorial Contacts
Chat for Authors: U.S. LIVE: We are in social networks:

About · News · For Advertisers

U.S. Digital Library ® All rights reserved.
2014-2024, LIBMONSTER.COM is a part of Libmonster, international library network (open map)
Keeping the heritage of the United States of America


US-Great Britain Sweden Serbia
Russia Belarus Ukraine Kazakhstan Moldova Tajikistan Estonia Russia-2 Belarus-2

Create and store your author's collection at Libmonster: articles, books, studies. Libmonster will spread your heritage all over the world (through a network of affiliates, partner libraries, search engines, social networks). You will be able to share a link to your profile with colleagues, students, readers and other interested parties, in order to acquaint them with your copyright heritage. Once you register, you have more than 100 tools at your disposal to build your own author collection. It's free: it was, it is, and it always will be.

Download app for Android