Will the coronavirus change the productivity of Japanese companies?

It is said that the productivity of Japanese companies is lower than that of non-Japanese companies. In fact, the companies and organizations I’ve worked for have had wasteful or inefficient operations. Three of the most commonly cited wasteful things are

 

(1) Meetings

(2) HANKO Culture

(3) Face to face sales

 

So, in this newsletter, let’s examine whether or not these will be changed by the coronavirus.

 

(1) Meetings

The main characteristics of a useless meeting are

“I have to attend a meeting that has nothing to do with my work.”

“It ends with just a sharing of information.”

“We got together to talk about it, but it didn’t come to a decision.”

But these are separate issues from working remotely, so even if the meeting held online, it won’t change much if the purpose of the meeting and the way to work doesn’t change.

 

 

 

(2) HANKO Culture

Not a few people say they want to work remotely, but have to come to the office to stamp documents. “The HANKO Culture is a major cause of the difficulty of working remotely,” some said. In June, the Japanese government announced that “a seal on a contract is not necessarily required. (FYI, it wasn’t originally required by Japanese law to put a seal on the contract, but the government announced it because many people misunderstood.)

 

Now there’s a greater awareness that other means of authentication, such as electronic authentication, are acceptable. So while many people think the HANKO Culture will change, I expect it to be about halfway there. The reason for this is that there are system costs associated with implementing alternative methods such as electronic authentication. However, 99.7% of Japanese companies are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and many of them cannot afford to invest in systems, so they continue to do things the way they used to. First, large companies that can afford it will be the first to adopt e-authentication. Second, it will be popular in companies that do business with such large companies. So I think it will take some time.

 

(3) Face to face sales

At the company I used to work for, we had a tradition of visiting clients at the end of the year to present them with calendars made by our company. I knew that it was useless to give them a calendar because it wouldn’t affect our work, and that we could just mail it instead of visiting, but I followed the previous custom.

 

But nowadays, most companies refrain from meeting with outsiders as much as possible. This is a good excuse to stop wasting time on face-to-face sales if the client side is willing to STOP. And since older people, who used to be reluctant to do online meetings, are now using ZOOM and the like, there will be less face-to-face sales and more business meetings over the phone and online.

 

These are my predictions. What do you think??

 

 

To everyone living in Japan, if you don’t want to die, look at the hazard map

Forty-four people died on July 4, 2020 due to the heavy rains that fell mainly in the Kyushu region. The damage is especially severe in Kumamoto Prefecture. Fourteen people died at a nursing home in Kuma Village.

 

Recently, it is not uncommon to see the heaviest rainfall in recorded history, probably due to extreme weather conditions. In addition, there are rivers all over Japan, so there is a risk of flooding all over the country. Japan is about to enter the typhoon season, so this is a good time to take precautions to prevent flooding in your area. It is strongly recommended that you check your flood risk.

 

The risk of flooding can be checked on the hazard maps operated by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

https://disaportal.gsi.go.jp/

 

This site will provide you with information on “flood risk,” “landslide risk,” and “tsunami risk” for your area. Just open the map and hover over your area to see how much of the above risk you are at.

 

And the accuracy of this hazard map is said to be extremely high.

Flooding in Nagano Prefecture, caused by a large typhoon in October 2019, has also been shown to have a high flood risk. And the floods that occurred in Kumamoto this time were also shown as dangerous on the hazard map.

 

The red point on the Google map on the left is where the nursing home where 14 people died is located. And the image on the right is a hazard map showing the flood risk at the same location. The area where the nursing home is located is pink, indicating the possibility of 10-20 meters of flooding.

 

And this image also shows a Google map on the left and a hazard map on the right. You can see that there are many places near Tokyo that are at high risk of flooding.

(The blue point on the right is the location of the flooding in Ibaraki Prefecture in 2015, which was also marked as high risk.).

 

We urge you to check out the hazard map to save yourself and your family’s lives.

Is an indirect or direct method of learning better for mastering Japanese?

With an indirect method, the learner receives explanations using an intermediate language (such as his or her native language) so that he or she can understand.

With a direct method, the learner receives explanations in Japanese only.

 

If your native language is English, you may worry about whether it’s better to temporarily get explanations in English or to get explanations in Japanese. In this article, I will explain the pros and cons of both methods.

 

Indirect Method – Pros

-Explanations are definitely easier to understand.

-Learners can understand in a short amount of time.

 

Indirect Method – Cons

– It’s easy for learners to develop a habit of always thinking in their native language.

-It’s hard for learners to develop a habit of reasoning based on the Japanese they know.

-There may be many instances of not understanding when having an actual conversation in Japanese.

 

Direct Method – Pros

-Learners will develop a habit of reasoning based on words they do know even if there are words they do not understand.

-Lessons can be taken in a form that closely resembles an actual conversation in Japanese.

 

Direct Method – Cons

– Learners will sometimes misunderstand.

-It may take a while before the learner can understand.

 

The indirect method is less stressful because beginners cannot understand explanations in Japanese. However, the advantage of studying using the direct method from the beginning is that learners are better prepared for a real conversation because they have been listening to actual conversations in Japanese only. In other words, the difference is whether you consider speaking only in Japanese as “stressful” or “good training.”

 

I recommend the following approach for people who want to become used to Japanese as quickly as possible, but who also want to use their lesson time efficiently.

・First, tell your instructor ahead of time not to use an intermediate language unless you request otherwise, and basically use Japanese only.

・Then, ask your instructor for explanations in an intermediate language only when you can’t understand no matter how hard you try.

However, make an agreement with your instructor not to use an intermediate language more than three times per lesson.

(It doesn’t matter if you agree to five times or ten times, it’s just seems best to use an intermediate language as little as possible.)

・Then, do not use an intermediate language more than the agreed number of times no matter how frustrating it becomes.

 

I recommend this approach because, by sticking to these rules, you will develop a habit of thinking for yourself as much as possible even when you don’t understand and you can enjoy your lessons like a game.

8 points to make your trip to Japan more fun

It’s difficult to travel right now, but when the coronavirus is over, I hope that many people will enjoy their trip to Japan. In this article, we’ll introduce eight points to help you plan your trip to Japan and make it even more fun.

 

First of all, there are five points to make a plan for your trip to Japan.

 

  1. Decide on a theme for your trip.
  2. decide on a budget and number of days
  3. Decide where you want to go.
  4. make a list of things you want to do
  5. try to make a real schedule

 

Let’s take a closer look. The order of 1 to 4 may be back and forth. You may have to rework your plan a few times, but it’s still a process of making a better plan, so enjoy it.

 

  1. Decide on a theme for your trip.

If you’re new to Japan or have never traveled to Japan before, you can use “Tokyo and Osaka” as a theme for the cities you want to visit. If you are a repeater, for example, you may want to have a specific theme such as “I want to compare delicious sushi,” “I want to go to many hot springs,” or “I want to take a good looking photo for Instagram. Once you’ve listed a few, think about those priorities.

 

  1. decide on a budget and number of days

Deciding on a budget and number of days is a necessary step to make it a realistic plan.

 

  1. Decide where you want to go.

It’s normal to want to go to as many places as possible. Decide where you can realistically go with your purpose, budget and days.

 

  1. make a list of things you want to do

Decide specifically where and what you want to do and make a list. If there are too many to list, consider those priorities as well.

 

  1. try to make a real schedule

Find out where to stay, how to get there, how long it will take, and how long it will take to do the things you want to do. In Japan, trains and planes often go as planned, but make sure you have plenty of time on your schedule.

 

These are the basic points.

Next, I’ll give you three tips to make your trip to Japan more enjoyable.

 

6.Look up not only on the web but also in guidebooks.

Research can be done on the web, but it can be time consuming to look up each site one by one. So I buy a guidebook that allows me to look up information efficiently. Looking through guidebooks with my family and thinking, “Oh, I want to go to this store too! The price is also cheap at around 1,000 yen per book.

FYI, “Rurubu” and “Mappuru” are the most famous guidebooks in Japan. Both are designed for Japanese people traveling in Japan, so there is only a Japanese version, but it has detailed information on it. There are a lot of photos, so even those who are not confident in their Japanese will find it helpful.

 

Rurubu Tokyo https://amzn.to/2WlcdDU

Rurubu Osaka https://amzn.to/35SP8vt

Rurubu Hokkaido https://amzn.to/3bjnvwE

Rurubu Okinawa https://amzn.to/3cvfYwk

 

 

7.Ask a travel planning professional.

If you’re not good at planning or don’t have the time for it, you might want to hire a travel planning professional. COCONALA is a site that deals with the skill sharing economy business and there are also people who can help you plan your trip.

 

https://coconala.com/services/45520?waad=twyeQ5fH 

This person will make a plan for 2 nights and 3 days for 1,500 yen anywhere in Japan.

https://coconala.com/services/45883?waad=twyeQ5fH 

This person will plan a trip to Hokkaido for 3 nights and 4 days for 3,000 yen.

 

8.Make an album after the trip.

When we travel abroad, we make an album for each trip. Photo data taken with a digital camera or mobile phone is a rare opportunity for the whole family to look back at it. It’s a great way to keep an album to enjoy your family’s time together and memories of your trip.

 

If you are a Japanese language learner, try to look up information in Japanese as much as possible.Talking to your Japanese teacher about your travel plans will be a good practice for you too!

Writing practice is hard, but it’s effective.

Do you write Japanese?

 

There are many people who say, “I have a chance to speak Japanese, but I don’t have a chance to write. There are also many people who say, “I’m practicing speaking Japanese but not writing.

 

So, today I would like to tell you about the benefits of writing practice. You will be able to write for the first time if you have what you want to say organized in your mind and know the vocabulary and expressions. This means, conversely, that if you can write, you can say.

 

However, there is one point to note. hat is to write the amount and theme sentences that fits your level. It’s hard for a beginner to write long sentences on a complex topic. The target number of characters for each level is shown in the following table, so please refer to it.

———————————-

Level    Number(Time)

———————————-

10        700 letters(3 mins)

9         600 letters(2 mins)

8         500 letters(2 mins)

7         400 letters(2 mins)

6         350 letters(1 mins)

5         300 letters(1 mins)

4         250 letters(1 mins)

3         200 letters(1 mins)

2         150 letters(1 mins)

1         100 letters(30sec)

———————————-

*Level is based on J-OS’s ten-level.

*Time is the target speed to read the sentences you wrote and it almost same as the speed of the Japanese announcer.

 

It’s hard to practice writing, but that’s why it works. Please give it a try.

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