Boosting success in Japan with a little culture

Boosting success in Japan with a little culture


Overcoming the challenges of doing business across the cultural divide between Australia and Japan is set to become a little easier thanks to a new guidebook.

Created by the Australia Japan Business Co-operation Committee (AJBCC) and Japan Australia Business Co-operation Committee (JABCC), A Guide to Bridging the Cultural Divide brings together anecdotes from more than 20 high-level Australian and Japanese business leaders with decades of cross-cultural experience.

The AJBCC and JABCC guide will help anyone engaged in business between the two nations enhance their chances of success by developing their cultural literacy and awareness of culture’s impact on business practices.

AJBCC Future Leaders Program Chair Craig Usmar said that doing business in Japan came down to being more culturally mindful.

“There’s enormous benefit in understanding who you’re wanting to do business with ahead of any engagement”, Mr Usmar said.
“It demonstrates humility and authenticity, and that you’re willing to invest time and effort in developing relationships – all important prerequisites for opening doors in Japan.
This guide is designed to equip readers with a competitive advantage by demystifying how cultural practices in both Japan and Australia influence business practices.
This is all the more critical now that COVID-19 is disrupting traditional business norms.
There’s so much more potential for mixed messages when doing business remotely and things can quickly go from bad to worse if you don’t know the lay of the land.”

JABCC Future Leaders Program Co-chairs Luke Russell and Kanna Mihara stress Japan is here to stay as a major partner for Australia and recent geopolitical events in the Asia-Pacific region are pushing Japan onto the radar for more Australian businesses.

“Major projects like the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport which has attracted significant Japanese investment show there are opportunities across many sectors for Australian and Japanese companies to pursue if they’ve got the cultural skills to do so”, Ms Mihara said.
Mr. Russell noted that: “Japan and Australia’s contrasting cultures really are an eternal teacher and this guide shows that even the most seasoned operators have remained conscious that learning never ends. So why not get on the front foot with a little help from those who have crossed the cultural divide before you?”

A Guide to Bridging the Cultural Divide now available for download in English and Japanese.