Industry March 2013

Car Insurance in Japan

Although the basic idea of car insurance in Japan will seem familiar to foreigners, car insurance here is very different from that in other countries.
Industry February 2013

Watch This Space

The global economy faced serious problems after the 2008 Lehman Shock, causing the Greek debt crisis that created credit insecurity for all countries in the European Union. The US economy weakened, while a slowdown was evident in China and the emerging economies.
Industry February 2013

A State of Flux

Relocation firms in Japan have experienced tough challenges since the March 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, which caused the market to shrink and the relocation industry to become even more competitive.
Industry January 2013

Building Trust

Established in 1934, the British Council operates in more than 100 countries and territories to spread and strengthen Britain’s influence through the development of cultural relations.
Industry January 2013

The Vision Thing

Leadership is a constant battered by fashion. The best sellers come and go, and their authors flame out trying to extend the brand. We all seem to have a huge appetite for answers, and want to find that edge or glint of an idea that will secure the required result.
Industry October 2012

A love of All Things British … Except the Food

It is to be hoped that Japan might, finally, start to overcome the general disdain for British cooking. The success of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the vast positive exposure the UK has received this year surely cannot have been for naught.
Industry September 2012

The Death of on-the-job Training

A silent, tectonic shift is taking place in Japan. The so-called lost decade—that commenced in the 1990s with the collapse of the nation’s asset prices—is now into a third decade. The period has seen stasis in many areas, including investment in human-capital productivity.
Industry July 2012

High-tech Meets History

Amid the age-old palaces, temples and gardens of Japan’s ancient capital, two firms founded by British software experts are busy creating state-of-the-art content for the latest game platforms.
Healthcare & Pharmaceutical June 2012

Hiring the Right Medical Affairs Team

Firms recognise the value of hiring MD- or PhD-qualified people, but where can they find the right talent?
Healthcare & Pharmaceutical June 2012

Underneath the Hospital Gown

Japan's sophisticated social insurance system offers free access to healthcare, allowing people to visit the doctor for any condition. Most companies offer annual medical checks to employees, creating a further opportunity for patients to be aware of their condition, and perhaps, discover some unwanted truths.
Healthcare & Pharmaceutical June 2012

Fighting Rare Illnesses and Disorders

Pharmaceutical makers are in an excellent position to do a lot of good—and, I would argue, have something of a duty to do so—above and beyond merely developing and providing medicines that are going to cure illnesses and give people longer, happier and more productive lives.
Industry May 2012

Feng Shui for Cynics

According to consultant and representative of World of Feng Shui Japan HQ, whether people believe feng shui actually influences events or is superstitious nonsense, even cynics cannot deny its real benefits in the office.
Industry May 2012

Efficiency, Costs, Risk

With ongoing uncertainty about the economic outlook and the strength of recovery, businesses across all sectors continue to seek ways of improving efficiency and cutting costs.
Industry May 2012

Mergers & Acquisitions

In this article, I cannot help you very much. That said, in my 2004 book, Japan True or False—People Problems, Costs, Restructuring, chapters one, four and five have much useful information on mergers and acquisitions.
Industry April 2012

Why Software Projects Fail

Information technology (IT) project implementations are complex anywhere, but even more so in Japan given its management style and project team structures.
Industry March 2012

Banks in Japan Continue to Hire

Japan’s banking sector is a standout in Asia, as banks continue to hire people with specialist skills and vacancy activity grows. While this activity has not returned to levels predating the global financial crisis, it shows, nevertheless, that the impact of current global economic conditions has not been as intense in Japan as in some of its Asian neighbours.
Industry February 2012

What Are Teachers Talking About?

It’s great when your child comes home and shows you the big capital “A” his or her teacher has written on that last piece of homework. You’re a successful parent. The child has been successful. Oxford … Harvard … medical school … law school … the world is opening up before you both. But what actually constitutes an A?
Industry January 2012

Corporate Compliance: Protection from the Inside

Legal compliance in the corporate world is, in some ways, similar to earthquake preparedness in the layman’s world. On 11 March 2011, few people had an earthquake kit prepared. On 12 March, most everyone had their earthquake kit and you could see the sidewalks filled with people wearing hardhats. Such is human behaviour. We reach our most heightened state of preparedness after a crisis takes place.
Industry December 2011

How to Make Your Projects Work in Japan

Often it is said that global project management is a difficult task, “global” here meaning the project membership is cross-national, which requires a high level of internal collaboration.
Industry November 2011

Changing Landscape of SCM Recruitment

As competitive pressures increase and supply chains become increasingly global and complex, efficient and proactive supply-chain management has been transformed from an operations and back-office concern to a factor critical to business success. Throughout 2011, the logistics industry in Japan has been impacted by the continued emergence of the Asian region as a key growth area, as well as the disasters that occurred earlier in the year.
Industry November 2011

Minimising Operating Risk

Over the past 10 years, open account trading has become the standard approach taken by exporters wishing to maintain a competitive position vis-à-vis importers. Moreover, since this form of trading—which helps firms better manage their cash flow while also providing credit protection—now accounts for more than 85% of cross-border trade transactions, the letter of credit has become a niche product.
Industry September 2011

Retaining Your Best Talent

So you’ve secured the perfect candidate for the position and they start next week. Considering the time and money invested in recruitment, you will want the individual to remain engaged in a productive career with your firm for the long term. This is particularly important if they have bilingual skills, which in Japan are in extremely high demand and short supply.
Industry September 2011

Recruiting Using Social Media

Although social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn now boast over 600 million users combined, while micro-blogging services such as Twitter offer a similarly large audience, it is not these numbers that have caught the attention of the recruitment industry.
Industry July 2011

Are You Lean?

Successful firms often talk about focusing on driving growth, maintaining profit, or increasing cost-savings and efficiency. At the same time, they are using antiquated project-management programs focused on document production and rigid project structures.
Industry July 2011

Flavour of the Month

Cloud computing is the industry du jour—and is particularly relevant for the Japanese market, given the impact of the 11 March disasters and the significant restructuring that Japan will have to undertake.
Industry June 2011

Post-Disaster Preferences

Drastically changing consumer preferences and perceptions in Japan since the earthquake and tsunami of 11 March have emerged as the economy took a debilitating hit and then showed signs of recovery, according to surveys by I&S BBDO Japan.
Industry June 2011

What Leaders Need

Unfortunately, for many management consultants and change specialists, the word “crisis”, in either Chinese or Japanese, does not translate into “danger and opportunity”. But perhaps a better translation from the English—and a more accurate definition—is a dangerous moment when one’s full attention is needed.
Industry May 2011

Less Drug Lag, More Development

First of all, we would like to offer our deepest condolences to the people and regions affected by the 11 March earthquake and subsequent incidents in the north-east of Japan and neighbouring areas. The pharmaceutical industry in general, and our firm in particular, are monitoring recovery efforts and focusing on ensuring the continuity of the healthcare system and drug deliveries despite current circumstances.
Industry May 2011

Major Growth Ahead

The pharmaceutical industry in Japan is preparing for major growth. As firms compete for market share in the recovering economy, we see hiring freezes have been lifted since last year, while budgets have been adjusted for an anticipated increase in staff numbers.
Industry April 2011

Security Is Key to a Smooth Move

Relocating an employee to a foreign country is an information-intensive activity. Personal information about the employee, their firm, family and budget is collected and sent to relocation firms, realtors and their contractors. In the past, this data was mailed or faxed overseas and filed in a physical set of drawers under the employee’s name. But now, this information is sent digitally and stored the same way.