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By Philip Patrick
As an agnostic, I have never really felt comfortable with the whole “customer is God” philosophy. I know I’m supposed to feel charmed, but I can’t help experiencing mild embarrassment as I am showered with “welcomes” and “thank yous” and “I’ll be waiting for your next visits” by shop staff in Japan, often when I have only dropped into their store to get out of the rain. Basically, I don’t think I’ve really earned it.
By Tomoko Kamishima
More than 800 stone statues sit close together at Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple. Splendid autumn leaves put their arms around the statues and give them a comforting hug. The location of today’s Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple (northwest outskirts of Kyoto) was once a location used for open-air burial.
By Dale A. Brown
The Sendai Pageant of Starlight is one of Japan's biggest winter illumination displays. Each year from December 6th through December 31st, 600,000 Christmas lights illuminate the zelkova trees along Jozenji-dori in downtown Sendai. At adjacent Kotodai Park (Kotodaikoen), accessed via the Kotodaikoen subway station on the Nanboku line, are several picture worthy light displays. Across from the park, a temporary ice rink is set up for anyone to enjoy.
The Country Manager of a foreign company starting up in Japan is more than just a manager, he/she also has to be an entrepreneur and salesperson to run the minutiae of a new business for the first 3-5 years.
Economists and businesspeople will be speculating about what will happen to the Japanese economy after the consumption tax increases from 5% to 8%, and therefore what will happen to Abenomics.
A newer global self-help entrepreneurial business organization, TiE, has appeared on the Japan scene, and this one seeks specifically to develop new entrepreneurs, although the networking aspect is there as well.
Consumption tax legislation will kick in in 2015 adding an extra 10% (up from zero) on digital contents/services that are purchased by consumers (versus businesses) from suppliers abroad.
The first edition of Terrie's Take for 2014. We take a peek into the future and ask ourselves what trends or macro developments might happen and what impact they will have on doing business in Japan.