According to Minato Kadoi analysis, in Japanese negotiation styles, it is certain that the Japanese value creating a trusted rapport with their counterparts as a pre-requirement before negotiations. In addition to the negotiation styles, there is traditional etiquette such as business cards and gift exchanging. Furthermore, indirectness of communication styles is evident in Japanese negotiation styles. It is true that negotiators may encounter conflicts or misassumptions in intercultural communication. However, researching other party’s cultural behaviors, attitudes, norms, and values could help preceding a negotiation in effective ways.
Because of a wide range of historical, geographical and social factors, decision-making in Japan is a much more group-oriented activity than in Europe, and Japanese businessmen are as a result much more interested in preserving group harmony and ensuring as broad a consensus as possible rather than trying to reach a deal. Moreover Japanese conceptions of a deal itself are different to those in the west: Whereas in Europe we tend to view a deal as a firm commitment which must be honoured (particularly since it is often the product of long and tough negotiations!) the Japanese are more inclined to see a deal more as an intention within the context of a long term relationship, which is subject to changing circumstances and other factors. As a result, European entrepreneurs often initially find the Japanese negotiating style to be incredibly frustrating. However with the right knowledge and appreciation of the Japanese negotiation process, there is no reason why this should be an obstacle or deterrent EU SMEs investing in Japan.
Table of Contents