If the population growth of Japan is considered then, in 2014, the total population of Japan is estimated to be about 127.6 million. The population growth rate is however, 0.1%
The Life expectancy for males is 83 years, and for females it is 80 years. Considering the Age structure, In 2013, the country comprised of 13.4% of the population having the age range from 0 to 14 years, 9.7% of the population fall in the age ranging from 15 to 24 years, 38.3% fall in 25-54 years, and 24.8% population is of 65 years or above (Nee, 2013). Median age off the country’s population is about 45.8 years, the median age of males is 44.4 years, and that of females is 47.2 years. If the Literacy rate is considered then, population having age 15 and above can read and write. The total population is 99%, the literacy rate of the male population is 99%, and that of females, it is also 99%.
In Japan, Japanese is the major language, and English is secondary. Furthermore, if the Customs and Norms of the country are considered then Japanese culture is regarded as high-context. Respect is given much more importance in Japan. Direct eye contact is not a norm, and lowering of eyes is considered a symbol of respect. The touching of males and females is regarded as inappropriate; this is true even in the case of the married couples. It is considered as an honor for the person who is invited by another person to his home. Expressing the dramatic gestures such as pointing to an object is also considered as inappropriate. Waving of hand, palming up towards the object is considered as appropriate while pointing.
For understanding the social institutions of Japan, firstly, Hofstede’s dimensions, which include Power Distance Index, Individualism, Masculinity, Uncertainty Avoidance Index, and Long-Term Orientation, are considered. Japan has higher Power Distance Index, which is an indication of the fact that more organizational members in Japan accept accept this reality that power is distributed unequally in the country. Further, the Japanese are concerned more with the collectivism, and not with individualism, they like to work together. Japan, however, scored higher in the dimension of Masculinity, which indicates that there is a wider gap prevailing between the values of males and values of females.
Moreover, the Uncertainty Avoidance Index i.e., the tolerance for the ambiguity and uncertainty of the Japanese society is high. The Uncertainty Avoidance Index pertains to a society’s tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity. Japanese have Long-Term Orientation dimension. The Virtues that are associated with the Long-Term Orientation in Japan are perseverance and thrift. The modern society of Japan’s family structure can be divided into six social groups; which are, The Imperial Family, Nobility, Upper Middle Class, Lower Middle Class, Industrial Proletariat, and Peasants.Trade Barriers
The social and the cultural factors create barriers to trade In Japan, these factors include the buyer behavior towards the foreign products, oligopolitisctic competition because of the keiretsu groups in Japan, the policies led by Government such as standards, regulations, procurement codes, intellectual property rights, custom valuation codes and industrial targeting. The trade barriers are concerned with the tariff as well as non-tariff barriers. The tariff barriers include higher rates of tariff, and the non-tariff barriers include measures for the protection of customers, technical norms, and quotas (Samiee & Mayo, 1990). Communication is also a barrier to trade in Japan, because there the communication is complex. The spoken words show several meanings, and it is necessary to have the knowledge of both the verbal as well as non-verbal communication styles. The information is, however, conveyed, indirectly in the country, and silence is regarded as a symbol of maturity.
Further, the smaller gesture of the people of Japan can, however, change the context of the discussion, which will impact the negotiation process. The negotiation tactics of Japan focus on pursuing the long term social relationships during the entire process. False advertising and marketing skills are not tolerated in the country and predominant rules are set. Furthermore, considering the ethical concerns, the ethics in Japan are influenced by Buddhism, Shintoism, and Confucianism (Rarick, 1994). The Japanese consider and give importance to the human equality, restoration of human right, equal employment opportunities for both the sexes, with fair wages. Further, in business practices, they focus on collectivism, on maintaining long term relationships, corporation and consensus are the dominant features of Japanese business hierarchy.
Nee, Patrick W. (2013). Key Facts on Japan: Essential Information on Japan. The Internationalist Publishing Company
Rarick, Charles A. (1994). The philosophical impact of Shintoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism on Japanese management practices. International Journal of Value-based Management, 7 (3), 219-226
Samiee, Saeed. & Mayo, Adam. (1990). Barriers to Trade with Japan: A Socio-cultural Perspective.European Journal of Marketing, 24(12), 48-66