Breaking into Japan’s markets

Japan business strategy: what is your plan? what is your strategy? How to finance? you are looking for a partner?

“Steely-eyed strategies…” (Lu Gerstner)

“Steely-eyed strategies: good strategies start with massive amounts of quantitative analysis – hard, difficult analysis that is blended with wisdom, insight, and risk taking…”
(Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., in the book “Who says elephants can’t dance”)

Japan is about 15% of the world economy, in many high-tech sectors Japan’s is about 30% of the world market. Especially for US high-tech companies, Japan is usually the first and most important foreign market.

For examples:

  • Japan’s mobile phone market grows by about 10 million subscriptions/year, and about 50 million mobile phones are sold per year
  • Based on the strength in the large Japanese telecom market, SoftBank is now expanding globally, e.g. by the acquisition of SPRINT
  • About 10% of automobiles globally are manufactured in Japan, and about 30% of automobiles globally are manufactured by Japanese brands, such as Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Suzuki, Mazda, and more

Japan business strategy options: Spoilt for choice – YOUR choice, YOUR decision:

YOU have many choices to build business in Japan:

  • take initiative, invest and build a valuable business in Japan, a subsidiary with brain power, feeding innovation back into your global operations
  • partner with a Japanese company which you entrust with control over your business in Japan
  • a full range of options depending on the competitive strength of your products, how unique your services are, and your financial strength

Japan business strategy challenges: YOU thrive on challenge…

Rewards can be high, but building successful business in Japan is not easy – some of the most famous and largest global companies have failed and given up in Japan. Key challenges are:

  • Japan’s size needs major committment and investment. Success in Japan does not come cheap
  • Communications across the cultural devide. Language
  • Global priorities vs the specific needs of Japanese customers. Some of the largest corporations failed in Japan for this reason
  • Human resources: making the right choices are crucial. Do we hire top performers in Japan who don’t know much English and can’t communicate globally?
  • How do we listen to Japanese customers?
  • Do we really understand Japan’s market, and our customers?

Japan business strategy risks: No risk – no reward…

Japan business strategy: risks

  • speed: some very famous global companies lost out in Japan against faster executing competitors
  • investment: do you have the financial strength and the support by your investors and share holders to invest what it takes to win in Japan? Several very famous global companies had to give up in Japan because management underestimated the investment necessary to win in Japan
  • listening to Japanese customers: it’s almost unbelievable, but true. Some foreign companies get no-where in Japan for the simple reason that they do not listen enough to Japanese customers
  • (with our resources and experience, we can help you reduce risks)

Japan business strategy: Rewards

  • Many global companies with great products and great execution, have their most successful and profitable business in Japan
  • Japan is in many fields among the most developed markets in the world, especially in telecommunications, but also in many other fields. Competing successfully in Japan is crucial for the global competitiveness of your company

Our resources -> Your solution

Our resources can help to reduce your risks, we can create your solutions for growth in Japan

Japan’s electronics industry sector’s annual revenues are as large as the economy of The Netherlands

Japan’s smartphone games industry sector is the world’s top grossing

Copyright (c) 2014-2017 Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved


Japan GDP growth first quarter 2017 – Gerhard Fasol interviewed by Rico Hizon on BBC TV

Japan’s economy grows five quarters in a row, and Japan Post books losses of YEN 400.33 billion (US$ 3.6 billion) for an acquisition in Australia Japan GDP growth first quarter 2017, growth of 2%/year. Still, Japan’s economy is the same size as in 2000, while countries like France, Germany, UK today are double the size …

Women determine Japan’s future – Bill Emmott and Gerhard Fasol discuss Japan’s future

Bill Emmott and Gerhard Fasol about the future of Japan and the power of Japanese women Bill Emmott is an independent writer and consultant on international affairs, board director, and from 1993 until 2006 was editor of The Economist. Gerhard Fasol is physicist, board director, entrepreneur, M&A advisor in Tokyo. women determine Japan’s …

Economic growth for Japan in 2016?

Japan’s companies are key to Japan’s growth Economic growth: Almost everyone agrees that economic growth is preferred over stagnation and decline. Fiscal policy and printing money unfortunately can’t deliver growth. Building fresh new successful companies, returning stagnating or failed established companies back to growth (see: “Speed is like fresh food” by JVC-Kenwood Chairman Kawahara), and …

Japan market entry: why can business in Japan be difficult?

How to kickstart business in Japan? How to avoid well-known mistakes?

Breaking into Japan’s market: why does it make sense?

Quick answer:

Japan is the world’s third largest market, competitor, and partner. With 125 million people it’s a large and important country.

Japan is an innovation power house – many recent global technology revolutions started in Japan:

Get a feeling for the size of Japan’s markets

  • world’s third largest GDP, Japan represents about 10% of the world’s economy
  • 25% of the world’s high-tech products are made in Japan, 30% of all cars are made by Japanese brands
  • Japan’s top 8 electronics makers’ annual revenues are about as large as the economy of The Netherlands
  • Japan’s smart phone games sector is the world’s largest in terms of cash revenues

You’ll find a lot of details in our talk/lecture at Stanford University.

Japan market entry: Win big – or lose big. Why can it be so difficult?

Japan was never a western colony

… and that is not a coincidence, but largely due to Japanese people’s strong will and traditional abilities. (Thailand is another Asian country which was never a western colony…)

Some – but by far not all – western companies find it difficult to succeed in Japan. Reasons include:

  • Japanese customers can be very demanding, and often have quit different tastes and needs than Western customers. Therefore in many cases western companies must redesign or redevelop products in order to succeed with Japanese customers. Examples where this is the case range from baby napkins, to tooth brushes, cars and mobile phones.
  • Because of Japan’s size, substantial investments are necessary, and therefore the inherent risks are also large: you either win big, or lose big
  • Japan has many very strong local companies. As an example, eBay lost in Japan against local competition and withdrew from Japan. Japanese companies also will not usually welcome a new competitor, but develop strategies to compete hard against new entrants. You must be prepared for such competition with very thorough market research and strategy development. If you do not thoroughly understand your competition in Japan, you have little chance to win. In order to win in Japan you must understand and must be prepared and able and willing to compete with local competition
  • Management methods and the actual managers at headquarters in US and EU have certainly won many achievements in the US and Europe and elsewhere. In many cases, however, Western managers and Western management teams are ill prepared to succeed in Japan. In many cases, drastic changes in thinking and management methods and personell changes at headquarters would be necessary to succeed in Japan. However, there are not many Western companies, which act on this knowledge

Many foreign companies, large and small, fail in Japan (however, many more succeed and are very profitable in Japan)

Japan market entry: Changes and new opportunities

  • After Japan’s “bubble economy” of the 1980’s burst, for about ten years a period of denial followed, where Japanese leaders hoped and waited that share prices and real estate prices would jump back to bubble-time levels and continue their bubble-style rise. This denial was a major factor for the "lost decade – or two decades" which encouraged Prime Minister Koizumi to reinforce reforms of Japan’s government, legal and economic structure. After the end of Prime Minister Koizumi’s government the pace of reforme slowed down considerably, however was not reversed as some voices demanded. These changes create new opportunities for many parties, including industrial companies and investment funds. There are several other factors which drive change, such as the globalization of the economy and the internet – which was not planned at all by the Japanese government, but imposed on Japan as a fait-accompli.
  • With the need for change becoming more obvious we have now entered the phase of “Abenomics”.

Merger and Aquisition (M&A) opportunities

The volume of Mergers and Aquisitions is rising in Japan, and is larger than often assumed: the volume of M&A in Japan is on a similar level as for example in Germany.

The lions share of M&A is within Japan: Japanese companies acquiring or merging with other Japanese companies. One of the largest acquisitions of a Japanese corporation by a foreign corporation in the last years was Israel’s Iscar acquiring Japanese Tungaloy

The three largest acquisitions ever of Japanese companies by EU companies have been Vodafone’s acquisition of J-Phone (transaction value: about US$ 20 Billion in a series of acquisition transactions), Daimler’s acquisition of Mitsubishi Motors (transaction value: about US$ 2-3 Billion), and Renault’s investment in Nissan (initial transaction value: about US$ 3 Billion) – of these three, only the Renault investment in Nissan was successful, while both Vodafone’s acquisition of J-Phone failed, and Daimler’s acquisition of Mitsubishi Motors also failed. In both cases, Vodafone sold Japan-Telecom/J-Phone/Vodafone KK to SoftBank and withdrew completely from Japan (except for a very small liaison office), while Daimler sold its stake in Mitsubishi Motors, but unlike Vodafone continues substantial business in Japan in other fields.

Japan market entry: Avoid well-known mistakes

There is a large range of well-known mistakes foreign companies have been making over and over again in Japan for many years. Surprisingly foreign companies continue to make these well-known mistakes! Don’t make such well-known mistakes! (We can help you avoid them….)

Much of it is common sense. However, you also need to study a lot of facts about Japan, and customs. You will find that some assumptions you made are wrong! You’ll also find (surprise, surprise…) that not everybody (Japanese and foreigners) tells you everything they know.

Most “well-known mistakes” lie within the organization of your own company!

Sometimes problems in a Japanese subsidiary are best solved by changing responsibilities in the main office at home! We would be delighted to discuss such issues with you and work on a solution using our large range of experience.

A big “No-No”:

The biggest “no-no” is not to do proper preparation, or to start without a strategy. You can assume that normally your Japanese partners will do their preparations and they will have a big advantage, if you are unprepared. You will be surprised how many time consuming and expensive mistakes (in a well-known and extreme case this has cost approx. US$ 10 Billion…) are just due to lack of preparation, lack of information, and lack of planning. You will also need to learn a lot of basic facts. (It can save a lot of time and money to use an experienced consulting company)

Japan market entry: Why can doing business in Japan be so difficult – and what can we do about it?

You may often hear that doing business in Japan is very difficult – but you may have experienced that everybody was incredibly friendly when you visited Japan… So what’s going on? Here are a few facts:

  • There is no other advanced industrial country with so little foreign investment. This is because for a long time foreign investors have been kept out. This policy has recently changed, and foreign investment is increasing rapidly
  • Very few Japanese people (less than 3% – 5%) speak good English and as a consequence there has been a certain amount of intellectual isolation from the rest of the world
  • Traditionally financial conglomerates (historically: Zaibatsu, now: Keiretsu) dominated the traditional large industry. It was difficult to do any commerce across the boundaries of these Keiretsu, and these barriers were even stronger against foreign companies. However, the old Zaibatsu/Keiretsu structure is now gradually breaking down
  • It’s a very bureaucratic country in many ways, with a dense network of regulations, permissions, certifications, procedures, offices and authorities with approval procedures for many things, which don’t need approval in UK or US. Many of these restrictions are designed as entry barriers against newcomers to existing industries. Slowly these regulations are "eased" and seldom eliminated. With professional help, for example by lawyers or experienced management consultants – depending on what needs to be done – you can often find ways to do work – particularly in new industries. Note however, that there are also industries, where Japan is more open than the US and Europe to outside investment. An example is Japan’s telecommunication industry: Vodafone had no difficulty at all to acquire almost 100% of Japan’s No. 3 telecom operator. That Vodafone failed had nothing to do with the closed nature of Japan or any Government intervention
  • Vodafone’s failure in Japan was largely due to two factors: (a) Vodafone did not invest enough into the network infrastructure, and (b) Vodafone did not offer the mobile phone handsets which Japanese consumers prefered, so they defected to competing operators. In fact, after acquiring Vodafone-Japan, SoftBank succeeded to turn around the company within about 6 months by giving customers the handset and the tariffs they wanted, and by investing at the levels required in Japan for network coverage etc
  • However, internet, e-commerce, and the present "opening" may bring many changes, and evaporate some of the traditional difficulties…

Japan market entry: business relationships

Relationships are important in every country, and even more so in a "high context" country as Japan. You need to build relationships, take care of your relationships, understand why and with whom you build relationships, and avoid certain kind of relationships. You also need to understand the network of relationships which your partners and competitors work under. Here are a few facts:

  • You need to carefully plan your relationships in Japan, and you need to understand your relationships. You need to be aware, that relationships in Japan are seldom defined by legal contracts alone, you need to work on your relationships and take care of them
  • You need to be aware that, as anywhere else, your business partners in Japan will not tell you everything they know and everything they think and feel and plan for the future. In that regard Japan is really not that different from other countries. However, in your own country it will be easier for you to make guesses about what your partner could think and fell, while in Japan this might be more difficult for you. There are many examples, als in this day and age, where Western top management returns from negotiations with Japanese partners, celebrating success, while two days later a relationship breaks up. There are many cases where the Western side view and the Japanese side view of one and the same partnership are dramatically different, and one or both sides do not even know about this difference. Be warned, and do your homework

Traditional big industry in Japan tends to be organized and structured in historically grown industry groups. These used to be called "Zaibatsu" (= financial groups), and today these groups are usually called "Keiretsu" (= industrial groups). Until recently there were six such large groups, each grouped around a large bank and a large trading company at the center with a large number of companies in many different areas ranging from transportation, ship building, cars and electricals to insurances and department stores and beer factories. Recent bank mergers and other economic difficulties mean that the importance of these Keiretsu has somewhat decreased, but Keiretsu relationships are still enormously important in Japanese business and economy. For many foreign companies it is essential to understand the Keiretsu structure and to plan your business taking account of this knowledge. The figure below shows an up-to-date mapping of todays Keiretsu structure taking account of recent Bank mergers, including the announced Mitsubishi-Tokyo-Bank and UFJ merger. You will find a more detailed discussion and a large scale image (for printing) of our Keiretsu map here: "Best practice for foreign technology business in Japan"

Traditionally companies will only do business within the same keiretsu. For example, a keiretsu member will only buy beer from the beer company within the same beer company within the keiretsu, even if that beer is much more expensive than non-keiretsu beer. Of course such traditional business practices are opposite to procurement by competitive bidding. In today’s Japan you will find both competitive bidding, and other cases where traditional relations take priority over achieving the best price.

Japan market entry: Japanese Business Etiquette

There are many books claiming to prepare you for Japanese etiquette. Don’t believe everything these books say, and don’t make the mistake that you believe you are well prepared to do business in Japan after reading a book about "Japanese etiquette"! Still, here are a few essential tips:

There are many books claiming to prepare you for Japanese business etiquette. Don’t believe everything these books say, and don’t make the mistake that you believe you are well prepared to do business in Japan after reading a book about "Japanese business etiquette"! Still, here are a few essential tips:

  • Business cards: Take enough ("enough" often means a couple of hundred) professionally prepared "meishi" ("meishi" = business cards). For Japanese people (as else where in Asia-Pacific) exchanging "meishi" is like shaking hands. It is very awkward not to exchange "meishi" when you first meet – few Japanese people will think this is funny. So make sure you have enough. Not to have "meishi" has the meaning of being unemployed (actually this is not specific to Japan alone, but Meishi are equally important in most East-Asian countries).

  • Documentation: Impress with facts and achievements, or the fame and power and size of your corporation. Bring documentation of your company in Japanese language.

  • Preparations: Be on time and well prepared for meetings. Use Japan’s train systems and subways, and make sure you check out the time tables online. Unless there are earthquakes, typhoons, or suicides on the track, Japan’s trains have typically much better time keeping performance than anywhere else in the world.

  • Your company website: In case of doubt, its better to assume that your Japanese partner will have done very thorough research about your company. Assume that your Japanese partners/hosts will read and maybe even print out your company website. Cudos to you if you have a great Japanese language website.

  • Do your homework: it is impolite not to do your homework (= market research) about the companies and people you are meeting. Your position will be weak if you have not done your preparations. There are many famous cases of foreign companies which lost billions of dollars and failed in Japan ultimately because they did not do sufficient market research and preparations. Read hear about some examples.

    Penny-pinching on market research and preparations will haunt you.

  • Seating: There is a sophisticated protocol how seating is arranged at meetings, at dinners or in cars etc. The seating protocol depends on seniority, guest-host relationship, the position of the door, decorations in the room, etc. If you are arranging important meetings or dinners at high level, it will impress if you follow these seating customs. Most foreigners who have not worked a long time in Japan will need advice from Japanese professionals to select the correct seating order. At dinners there are also customs about filling glasses etc.

    When you visit a company you will be guided into the honored guest position in a Board Room at the top floor of the building – or into a small vendors meeting room outside the security entrance of the building – depending on status and the purpose of your visit and your rank.

  • Little daily rules: There are a number of unwritten rules in daily life in Japan, which everybody observes, but nobody talks about, and which don’t exist in Europe or USA. For example: no eating and drinking and no baby’s perambulators (except folded up) on short-distance commuter trains. It’s your choice in a way, but you’ll make more friends if you observe these little rules. There are some things you should definitely not do:

    • Don’t blow you nose in front of other people!
    • Don’t kiss anybody as a greeting! (You’ll thoroughly embarrass your "victim"!)
    • Never throw objects at somebody asking them to catch! Books, papers, documents, meishi, presents, and other important objects are given with both hands and a bow of the head.
    • There are a couple of other "no-no’s" (gestures, comments etc) which will provoke embarrassment, or even hostility in Japanese people, and you might be unaware of them. You better ask for them and avoid them.
  • Be prepared for surprises! Everything is changing rapidly recently!

Relax! Don’t overestimate etiquette! Although your Japanese business partners may look dead serious (and Japanese people usually take work dead-serious…), they also are human and know to laugh… Here is a famous story (not sure it’s a true story though…) demonstrating what can happen with exaggerated cultural adaptation:

An important US-Japan negotiation is scheduled in Hawaii – midway between the american continent and Japan. The Japanese party and the US negotiation party both have done their preparations well: they studied the material, the facts, prepared strategies, fall-back positions, read up on how to negotiate with the Japanese (or the Americans) and read about cultural differences, and learnt a few polite word’s in the other party’s language. The doors open and in come the Japanese and the US negotiators. The Japanese negotiators – all experienced senior managers – trying their best to adapt to American culture and to create a good atmosphere, enter the conference room dressed in Aloha shirts, sandals, shorts while on the other side of the room the American delegation enters: dressed in stiff white starched shirts, dark tie, dark blue business suits, polished black shoes…

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Copyright (c) 2013-2017 Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved

Japan business success: How to succeed in Japan?

How to break into Japan’s markets and become profitable?

Japan business success factors – People:

People come first in this list, and in your business: in Japan and elsewhere. People are key the key to your success. Customers are people, employees are people, your business partners, your suppliers, Government regulators, your competitors are people. In Japan these are Japanese people – and they may think differently than you do. Sometimes more different than you think. So you need to respect their customs, and work humbly to gain their respect. If you don’t do that, you’ll find that nobody loves you, your best employees leave you, and nobody buys your products – at least not as many as you need to sell to succeed in Japan. In the worst case you will lose Government licenses you need to do business in Japan. That also has happened to quite a number of foreign companies who did not respect the rules of the Japanese Government. If you lose a Government license in Japan that you need for your business, then you will have no choice other than pack up and leave. You will not have been the first foreign company to do so.

Japan business success factors – usually there is no easy, quick, cheap way to succeed in Japan:

You have no time – need results yesterday? You want to go-to-market yesterday without market research and planning? You are convinced that your products sell themselves? Maybe it’s better you look at other markets. There are very few examples of companies which succeed overnight in Japan. There are exceptions to this rule however in case you have a spectacular product with a true value proposition to real customer needs in Japan and with no competition. But in that case, Japanese companies have probably already contacted you and offered you free trips to Japan (some of our clients are in this lucky position). So a rule of thumb is, that if you or your company have to pay for your own airtickets to Japan, you probably have to make a lot of effort and investments in order to build a business in Japan.

Japan business success factors – do your homework, make sure you understand your future customers, the competitors and the market landscape:

Companies which succeed in Japan go to extraordinary lengths to understand the landscape they are about to enter. We can assure you that it’s much better you know your competitors beforehand and work out a strategy how to deal with them, rather than finding out that a few weeks after you proudly open each of your new shops in Japan, a Japanese company you have never heard about before, selling the same products as you do opens a shop accross the road from your new shop offering similar products at much lower prices, and keeps open until midnight, while your shops close at 6pm. Sounds incredible? That’s exactly what drove a major European retailer out of Japan.

Japan business success factors – Make sure you invest what it needs:

What you need to invest in Japan to succeed needs to be decided by the market conditions in Japan – not back home without knowledge of Japan. If you have a bleeding edge technology product without any competition providing true value and solving a real customer problem then you may not need to invest much in order to succeed. However, the more established the market landscape you wish to enter, and the more commoditized your product, the more you will need to invest to take market share from incumbent Japanese players. Many foreign companies have failed in Japan, because they did not invest the amounts necessary.

Japan business success factors – your products and services:

You will know your products best, much better than we do. However, if you want to sell your products in Japan, they must provide a real value to satisfy real needs of Japanese customers at the right price. A range of "global products" which is a huge success around the world and which has made your company and your brand rich and famous surprisingly may not help you to succeed in Japan. You may need to adapt your global products to Japanese market needs. Sounds obvious? There are foreign companies which have failed in Japan and have lost on the order of US$ 10 billion for going wrong on this "simple" point.

Our resources -> Your solution

Our resources can help to reduce your risks, we can create your solutions for growth in Japan.

  • our team of experienced experts
  • our company’s ten years experience working in Japan with some of the world’s best and finest companies and with governments
  • our CEO’s 22 years experience working with Japan
  • our wide professional network
  • Contact us

Copyright (c) 2013-2017 Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved

Japan business: how to fail in Japan….

Avoid well known mistakes

Here are some of the mistakes foreign companies frequently make in Japan:

Japan business: Treat Japan the same as any other country: We have been successful in 25, 50, 170,… countries, why should we treat Japan differently?

You’ll find that many globally successful corporations failed in Japan and withdrew from Japan because they insisted to use the same management principles and the same product specifications in Japan as in other markets.

Japan business: “Being respected within our complex company is much more difficult than succeeding in Japan. We must send an experienced seasoned manager/management team from within our company to Japan, no matter if its their first time in Japan, and know nothing about Japan, and it takes them 2-3 years to become effective in Japan”

Sure. And make sure you exchange them every 1 to 2 years to expose fresh talent to the challenges of Japan.

Japan business: Anyway human resources at headquarters back home at our head quarters in US/EU decide that.

Are you sure, headquarters understand? There is a very well-known case of the (Japanese ) Chief Executive of Japan operations for one of the most famous global corporations who was appointed by headquarters neglecting advice from Japanese advisors, who then later was arrested and sentenced. Don’t even think about the embarrassment and cost and brand-damage for everyone, and to have this global brand associated with an arrest of one of their (former) chief executives by Tokyo Police.

Still want to decide everything at headquarters?

Japan business: “Market research? Understanding what Japanese customers think about our products? We have already done our focus group work and segmented Japan’s market. Our market research clearly shows that Japanese customers are the same as anywhere else in the world. They fit the same segmentation we have used in all other countries. We don’t need help to understand Japanese customers.”

Authentic statement from top management of a global company, which has been hugely successful in most markets except Japan – which has tried to enter Japan’s market for nearly 1/4 of a century, and has failed to succeed in Japan for each of these many years

Update: recently this company lost global market share dramatically, and much of the company was sold off at a fraction of its former value. Maybe failure in Japan was the “writing on the wall”?

Japan business: “Invest more in our business development in Japan? Impossible. We have our global standards, and anyway all our investment recently goes to China and India and Vietnam.”

You’ll find that most foreign companies succeeding in Japan have also made substantial investments in Japan. Although foreign direct investment in Japan overall is relatively low compared to other countries, there are many foreign companies which have made very substantial investments in Japan. Some foreign companies have invested US$ 1 to 30 billion in Japan. Also, you will find that the most successful foreign companies in Japan make huge investments in market research, strategy development, business planning. Success in Japan is almost never cheap, easy and quick. – Japan is not the place to make a quick buck normally.

Japan business: Case studies for failures of foreign companies in Japan:

Japan business case study – The mother of all failures in Japan – Vodafone

Vodafone acquired Japan Telecom including the mobile division J-Phone which at the time of acquisition by Vodafone was on third rank in Japan, but the fastest growing, and with some of the most interesting innovations, for example J-Phone brought the first camera phone to market globally – today its almost unthinkable to have a mobile phone without a camera, but J-Phone (before the acquisition by Vodafone) brought the first phone with a camera to market globally. However, after acquisition by Vodafone, Japan Telecom and J-Phone went slowly downmarket, lost customers at increasing rates, and finally Vodafone sold all operations in Japan to SoftBank, which turned the company around within a few months, and recently acquired SPRINT, and thanks in part to the acquisition of Vodafone’s Japan operations is now on the way towards the top global mobile phone operator.
Read the detailed case story here:

Japan business case study – London Stock Exchange-AIM

NASDAQ tried to build a business in Japan, failed and quit Japan.
Ten years later London Stock Exchange-AIM tried to build a business in Japan, failed and quit Japan.
For almost exactly the same reasons, and with almost exactly the same result.
Read the case story here:

Japan business case study – Nokia phones & Nokia Ventures & VERTU

Nokia founded a subsidiary in Japan on April 3, 1989, and on November 27, 2008 announced to terminate selling mobile phones to Japan’s mobile operators, i.e. Nokia has tried for almost 20 years to build a business in Japan and failed. The i-Phone’s and Samsung’s success proves that Nokia’s departure is not because Japan’s mobile phone market was closed to foreign mobile phones – it is not.

Nokia’s sales figures in Japan were kept secret (Japan’s mobile phone industry insiders including us, of course had a very good idea about these figures), however in November 2008, Japanese newspapers reported that NOKIA sold 200,000 mobile phones during FY2007, equal to a market share of 0.39% – after 20 years of market entry.

Nokia-Ventures, and Nokia’s luxury division VERTU at different times also attempted to build businesses in Japan, and also terminated these efforts, however at different times than Nokia.

more here…. or contact us for much more details.

Here our CEO’s talk in this context, entitled “Help – my mobile phone does not work! Why Japan’s mobile phone sector is so different from Europe’s” at a lunch of the Finnish Chamber of Commerce at Tokyo’s Westin Hotel on March 16, 2007.

Note however, that NOKIA today is very successful and No. 1 in Japan’s mobile phone base station and mobile network equipment market.

Japan business: Our resources -> Your solution

Our resources can help to reduce your risks, we can create your solutions for growth in Japan.

  • our team of experienced experts
  • our company’s ten years experience working in Japan with some of the world’s best and finest companies and with governments
  • our CEO’s 22 years experience working with Japan
  • our wide professional network
  • Contact us

Copyright (c) 2013-2014 Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved