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Conflict Negotiations

(final paper)

Moscow State University

(International College)

BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS IN JAPAN

  Business relationships in Japan are characterized by a well-structured hierarchy and a strong emphasis on nurturing personal contacts. Generally, they are built up over long periods of time or are based on common roots, such as birthplace, school or college. Also, an unusually strong emphasis is placed on social activities to strengthen ties. It is not surprising, therefore, that those looking in from the outside may see the Japanese business world as comparatively hard to break into. In fact, there are many different kinds of business relationships, but most share two features - they have been built up slowly and carefully, and much time is spent in keeping them up to date.

Business relationships in Japan are part of an ever-broadening circle that starts within the company (uchi - inside, or"us"), and moves towards the outside (soto) to include related companies, industry or business organizations, and the like.

  Most Japanese companies have a series of very close relationships with a number of other companies that provide them with support and a multitude of services. It has been traditional practice for a company to hold shares in these "related" companies, a practice which has given rise to a high proportion of corporate cross-share holdings in Japan. This has been a show of faith on the part of one company towards another, and also has been useful in providing companies with a core of stable and friendly shareholders.



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