e-News April 2014

Dear subscriber,

Welcome to the April 2014 edition of the eubusinessinjapan.eu newsletter! As always, this month's newsletter will present you with a concise summary of all webpages, expert reports and other side activities which have been released this month. This month has been the EUBIJ team's busiest month to date, with 26 webpages, expert reports and e-learning videos released in April. Much of this month's new content focusses on overcoming the various logistical obstacles to the Japanese market, which is indispensable reading for anyone interested in breaking into Japan!

We hope that this new information is of interest to you, and we look forward to continuing to hear your comments and feedback over the course of this year as well as continuing to help you with your business ventures in Japan.

New Webpages Released in April

In April we have released 19 webpages. As always, these pages are created by researching and compiling all freely available, recent and trustworthy online information about Japan. In addition to providing an overview of each Japanese sector, these pages also provide links to relevant Japanese organizations as well as a list of further reading on each topic where available. Have a look now!

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About Starting a Business in Japan

About Starting a Business in Japan

There are many reasons for wishing to establish or expand your business in Japan. Japan has consistently retained its place as one of the most attractive and dynamic business hubs in the world. Japan is the world's third-largest economy, with the output of many of its regions comparable to the GDP of leading EU economies. 

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B2B

B2B

If you are targeting a Japanese company, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of the business model so that you can adapt your approach accordingly. You will find an overview of this information, together with some useful links, below.

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B2C

B2C

Japanese consumers have different appetites and expectations than Europeans. If your product or service is to succeed in Japan, you need to know what is expected of your product(s) and what consumers do not want to see. You must also be aware of specific consumer behaviour within certain segments of the Japanese market, such as among elderly and young people.

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Know Your Client And Adapt

Know Your Client And Adapt

European visitors to Japan who decide to peruse Japanese shops and supermarkets will quickly notice that Japanese advertising styles differ markedly from Western norms. 

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Sectors

Sectors

When trying to access a new market, it is crucial to know as much about it as possible. In our "Sectors" section, you will find detailed information about trends, standards, market players, potential difficulties and promising opportunities.

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Insurance

Insurance

When foreigners establish sole proprietorships and corporations in Japan, public insurance is required for their dependents, and employees. Be sure to be acquainted with the Japanese system: who has to be covered, what are the procedures, etc. those are the questions to which you will be able to answer after reading the following points.

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Visa & Status of Residence

Visa & Status of Residence

This section will provide you with all the necessary information about visas and residency in Japan. An explanation of procedures, necessary documentation, requirements and permitted activities can be found in detail below. Information on the new points-based system which grants preferential treatment to highly-skilled professionals is also provided.

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Company Incorporation Process

Company Incorporation Process

If you wish to incorporate a company or an office in Japan, there are certain steps that must be taken. This section details the requirements and actions required in order to successfully complete the Company Incorporation process in Japan.

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Customs Regulations

Customs Regulations

Understanding the customs regulations of another country can be a daunting task; however, this section brings together all the information that European enterprises need to know. As long as the procedures listed in this section are abided by and the relevant documentation is submitted, the customs process in Japan should be a hassle-free experience. 

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IPR System in Japan

IPR System in Japan

Intellectual property rights are divided into two main categories: Industrial Property Rights and Copyrights and related rights. This section will provide you with more information about the Japanese protection system for intellectual property, the main procedures to follow and the major costs involved.

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Labelling, Marking & Packaging

Labelling, Marking & Packaging

Japanese laws concerning labelling, product marking and packaging primarily relate to importation, security and health. Requirements are often product-specific and different from the EU standards which European businesses are accustomed to abiding by. In this section, you will find detailed information about Japanese legal requirements.

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Standards

Standards

A standard is a measure, a norm, or a model used to evaluate goods or processes. Standards also look at simplifying transactions, by making them fairer, and at rationalising the use of raw materials. According to the Japanese Standards Association, standards help improve technology and production efficiency and increase public welfare.

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About Innovation

About Innovation

In recent years, Japan has established initiatives centred on the advancement of innovation in response to increasing global competition and the growth of emerging countries. A renewed focus on achieving this in both the private and public sectors makes Japan the ideal market for European companies to enter.

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Clusters

Clusters

Since the early 2000s, the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) have been promoting the "Knowledge Cluster Initiative" and the "Industrial Cluster Project" as a means to reinforce international competitiveness and regional development.  Find out more here.

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R&D Centres

R&D Centres

Japan's reputation as an international hub for R&D has been established through heavy investment in this area, making the country a key destination for the establishment of cutting-edge R&D centres. Japan's R&D capacity in science makes it particularly attractive for foreign enterprises. 

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The Customer is God

It is often said that the customer is always right or even that the customer is king. The corresponding Japanese proverb says that the customer is God (in Japanese, "okyakusama wa kamisama desu"). In fact, even the word customer (kyakusama) expresses particular respect and veneration, as it means honoured guest. This section shall provide you with some information on what to expect from Japanese consumers as well as what they will expect from you!

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Cool Japan

The wide range of potential benefits to be gained from doing business with or in Japan can perhaps be best demonstrated by the considerable global popularity of Japanese culture. The widespread popularity of Japanese TV, cinema, food, theatre, literature and fashion are just a few examples of how Japanese culture has captured the imagination of European and Western consumers for decades. This page aims to provide you with some information on the "Cool Japan" project, a government-lead strategy to promote and sustain the international popularity and appeal of Japanese culture.

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Pharmaceuticals

Pharmaceuticals

Japan's pharmaceutical sector is in a period of evolution. Falling drug prices, expiring patents and Japan's ageing population have forced Japanese industry leaders to look for new and innovative approaches to expand their global reach. Find out more about opportunities within this sector here:

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Vitamins & Supplements

Vitamins & Supplements

In 2012, the size of the Japanese market for nutritional supplements exceeded $7 billion. The single largest selling supplement was vitamin C, and 53 other nutritional supplement products enjoyed sales in excess of $2 billion. Find out more about opportunities within this sector here:

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New Reports Released in April

4 Expert reports have been released this month, each written by a knowledgeable expert in the topic in question. Have a look now!

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Report: All About Starting a Business in Japan

Report: All About Starting a Business in Japan

The aim of this report is to provide foreign investors with all the relevant information to successfully set up their new business in Japan. This report, should allow you to make better and more informed business decisions when starting your new business venture in Japan.

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Report: Get to Know your Client and Adapt

Report: Get to Know your Client and Adapt

In 'Get to know your Client and Adapt', our expert focuses on the business-side of Japanese market entry. Examples of EU success stories in Japan are given throughout in order to provide you with recommendations on tried and tested methods for successfully adapting your business style.

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Report: A Practical Guide to Intellectual Property Protection and Enforcement in Japan

Report: A Practical Guide to Intellectual Property Protection and Enforcement in Japan

This report examines Japan's intellectual property system, outlining Japan-specific intellectual property rights, instructions for applying to Japan's patent office, as well as the enforcement of intellectual property rights in Japan. The report also explains several important differences between Japanese and EU law concerning intellectual property rights.

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Report: Developments in the Japanese Healthcare Industry

Report: Developments in the Japanese Healthcare Industry

This report discusses recent developments within the Japanese healthcare industry, with a particular focus on the pharmaceuticals and medical devices markets. This report finds that Japanese demand for pharmaceuticals and medical devices is solid, and is likely to continue to grow due to recent government initiatives to stimulate growth in the Japanese economy.

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New e-Learning Resources Released in April

In addition to the above webpages and expert reports, we have released 3 new e-learning videos:

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Presentation: Customer Service in Japan

This presentation will cover Japan's famously high-quality customer service, and what will be expected of you by Japanese consumers and business partners. By the end of this presentation you should have gained an insight into the background of Japanese customer service as well as how to respond to the expectations of Japanese clients in the most efficient way.

 

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Presentation: Managing Quality Claims in Japan

This presentation will explain how to understand and meet the quality expectations of Japanese clients and business partners. By the end of this seminar you will have learned 1) the basics of Japanese quality requirements and how this will impact upon your business venture with or in Japan, and 2) how to respond adequately to claims by Japanese clients.

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