Three points when telling the message to Japanese people / British who uncover “inconvenient truth” in Japan

 

Do you know David Atkinson?

The other day, I had the opportunity to hear his lecture, and I also read his books, I got a new awareness. Therefore, this time, I will introduce him.

 

(1) Who is David Atkinson?

His bio is as follows. (Some excerpt from Wikipedia)

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He learned Japanese studies at Oxford University. He worked for Andersen Consulting (the predecessor of Accenture) and Solomon Brothers and came to Japan around 1990. In 1992 he moved to Goldman Sachs and worked as an analyst, pointed out a huge amount of bad debts sleeping at Japanese banks after the collapse of the bubble economy. After being promoted to a partner in 2006, he left the company in 2007.

After retiring from analysts and devoting to Japanese tea ceremony, he joined Konishi Arts & Crafts Co., Ltd., which is repairing Japanese national treasures and important cultural properties, in 2009. In 2010 he became chairman of the company. After that, as an expert of Japanese cultural assets, he also makes suggestions on Japanese cultural property policies and tourism policies. From June 2017, assumed the special adviser of Japan National Tourism Organization.

———————————

 

 

(2) What is the inconvenient truth of Japan that Mr. David Atkinson exposes?

In his book “新・所得倍増論”(new edition – income doubling theory), he pointed out the low productivity of Japan.

For example, we, Japanese people have been heard the brilliant achievements of the Japanese economy as follows.

———————————

GDP = 3rd in the world

Export value = 4th in the world

Number of Nobel laureates = 7th in the world

———————————

 

However, he insists that “Because these are all influenced by the high population of Japan, we should see per capita figures, not absolute numbers.” Therefore, when looking at the above three items “per capita”, it turns out

———————————

GDP = 27th in the world

Export value = 44th in the world

Nobel laureate winners = 39th in the world

———————————

and it is never a special country.

 

For reference, the export value is only 48% of Germany (3rd in the world). Moreover, since the population of Japan is 1.6 times more than Germany, the per capita export value of Japan is only 1/3 of that of Germany.

 

He mentioned the incompetence of Japanese executives as follows, touching on Japan’s population decline problem.

“Japan was booming in the 1970s not because Japanese executives were excellent because they benefited from population bonus due to the rapid increase in population. When the population declined in the 1990s, it was necessary to completely change the way of economy, but Japanese executives did not recognize it. In Japanese-style management so far, emphasis was placed on “management” of things. It is fine for the time of constant growth, but now is different. Despite the fact that there are the most competent workers in the world, Japanese executives who showed only the lowest productivity in developed countries can be said to be ‘crisis’. ”

 

 

(3) Three points when telling the message to Japanese people

I was able to take the above-mentioned “inconvenient truth” obediently. I think that there are the following reasons.

 

  • He uses objective data.
  • He is familiar not only with the Japanese economy but also with Japanese culture.
  • We can feel his passion of “I want to improve Japan”

 

And I think, these three points are also important when non-Japanese people persuades or advises the Japanese. For example, when you suggest something to your Japanese boss or Japanese management or Japanese clients, if you clear these three points, the success rate will be high.

 

デービッド・アトキンソン 新・所得倍増論

(ISBN-13: 978-4492396353)

https://amzn.to/2ACMePh

 

 

デービッド・アトキンソン 新・観光立国論

(ISBN-13: 978-4492502754)

https://amzn.to/2vdQMqm

For those who are involved in inbound business, this book is also recommended.

Japanese business magazine TOP 10 recommended for business Japanese learners!

 

It is recommended to read Japanese business magazines for business Japanese learning. Newspapers are also good, but since there are many new topics, the information can be sporadic, so the magazine is better to intensively read topics of interest in feature articles etc. Besides, information is useful for business, so it is two birds with one stone.

So, I tried searching for business magazines at Fujisan, a Japanese No1 online bookshop for magazine’s, but I hit 1375 cases! Too many to choose best one. Although it is recommended to go to a bookstore and actually see the contents, it is also hard to compare all magazines.

So this time, I will introduce the top 5 business magazines sold in Japan and 5 other recommended magazines, totaling I selected 10 magazines.

The sales circulation TOP 5 from January to March 2018 is as follows. (*2)

 

No1: PRESIDENT  (319,933 copies)

In 1963 it was launched as the Japanese edition of FORTUNE USA. For managers and business leaders. Publication twice a month. It deal with a wide range of subjects ranging from high quality business information, skill ups and lifestyle.

Buy this at Amazon / Buy this at Fujisan

 

No2: Weekly DIAMOND (週刊ダイヤモンド:125,833 copies

First published in 1913. A business weekly magazine that is most popular in bookstores. In addition to economic, financial, and corporate information, it has plenty of diverse serial articles and columns.

There are also many contents for young employees.

Buy this at Amazon / Buy this at Fujisan

 

No3: Weekly TOYO KEIZAI (週刊東洋経済 : 90,250 copies

First published in 1895. Feature articles on seasonal themes and of various companies, there are many useful information for all generation including a student in job hunting. You can grasp the latest topic of the Japanese economy.

Buy this at Amazon / Buy this at Fujisan

 

No4: THE21 (49,400 copies

First published in 1984. Monthly magazine. Many information is useful for self-improvement.

Buy this at Amazon / Buy this at Fujisan

 

No5: DIAMOND Harvard Business Review (ハーバード・ビジネス・レビュー : 20,700 copies)

The only comprehensive management magazine in Japan that fully cooperated with Harvard Business Review magazine in the United States. For managers and business leaders.

Sharp suggestions and explanations coming from opinion leaders are popular. It has plenty of information on strategy and analysis.

Buy this at Amazon / Buy this at Fujisan

 

 

Since all of these are dealing with a wide range of information, you can choose from your interests and positions of work.

Although it did not enter the top 5 in the number of sales, there are also many magazines that I would like to recommend. The following are some of them.

 

NIKKEI TRENDY (日経トレンディ)

Trendy information magazine introducing the latest trends and latest products. There are many easy-to-read contents.

Buy this at Amazon / Buy this at Fujisan

 

Monthly JIGYO KOUSOU (月刊事業構想)

Professional journal on corporate activity, regional creation, innovation. Monthly magazine. For managers / new business planning staff.

Buy this at Amazon / Buy this at Fujisan

 

SENDEN KAIGI (宣伝会議)

Specialized magazine of advertisement, advertisement, and marketing. Published twice a month.

Buy this at Amazon / Buy this at Fujisan

 

INTERNET SALES (ネット販売)

As its name suggests, it is a specialty magazine for online sales. Monthly magazine. Since it is not sold at a bookstore, go to the following link for purchase.

Buy this at Fujisan

 

MARR(マール)

The only M & A special monthly magazine in Japan. For people involved in M & A.

Buy this at Amazon / Buy this at Fujisan

I added links to Amazon and to Fujisan, but please note that images and links are not limited to the latest issue. At Amazon, it is easier to order one book, but at Fujisan, they offer discounts of up to 50% when subscribing. They delivers it to your home (limited to Japan only) and e-book version can also be read.

If you want to know other magazines, please consult your J-OS instructor or support team (^^)/

 

*1: As of July 9, 2018

*2: Source:Japan Magazine Publishers Association


 

Why don’t you check the top 50 songs by year before going to Karaoke with co-workers?!

 

If you are working in Japan, you will often go to karaoke in a second party etc.

If you sing at karaoke and you can enjoy it with the Japanese, you can enjoy deepening relationship with your business partners.

 

The difficult thing for foreigners will be choosing a song that will be appreciated by Japanese people.

So, I will teach you the site introducing the ranking of Japanese songs by age.

 

1950’s Ranking: http://nendai-ryuukou.com/1950/song.html

1960’s Ranking: http://nendai-ryuukou.com/1960/song.html

1970’s Ranking: http://nendai-ryuukou.com/1970/song.html

1980’s Ranking: http://nendai-ryuukou.com/1980/song.html

1990’s Ranking: http://nendai-ryuukou.com/1990/song.html

2000’s Ranking: http://nendai-ryuukou.com/2000/song.html

 

* You can jump to the ranking of TOP 50 for each year from the link above.

* If you click on each song title, you will be connected to YouTube so you can listen to that song.

 

The point is “Choose songs that were popular when people going along were around 18 to 22”.

Because people listen to music the most during these ages.

 

For example, in my case, I often listened music from 1996 to 2000, so I checked the yearly ranking of 1996 to 2000. As a result, I found that each TOP 50 songs by year were very familiar.

 

If a person going to karaoke with you is around 50 years old, that person may often listens to songs of 1984 to 1988, so it is better to check these pages.

http://nendai-ryuukou.com/1980/song/1984.html

http://nendai-ryuukou.com/1980/song/1985.html

http://nendai-ryuukou.com/1980/song/1986.html

http://nendai-ryuukou.com/1980/song/1987.html

http://nendai-ryuukou.com/1980/song/1988.html

 

If you know old Japanese songs, it will be a good conversational material. Also, learning the song lyrics is useful for Japanese study.

 

How many chat topics do you have?

 

How many chat topics do you have?

“Chat” is an easy talk without deciding the theme. As well as talking with family and friends, chatting is essential in dates and business.

When I ask the Japanese businessmen around me, they say that the chat is very important.

One of them insists that “If you do various interesting talks and impress the other person with your charm, business negotiations will proceed. If you talk about the product from the beginning, no one will succeed.”

I agree that it is more necessary to sell yourself than goods.

 

People who don’t run out of things to talk about are called “people with many drawers.”

Let’s hold a number of drawers in your head.

Here are four examples of chatting.

 

1, Weather talk

Japanese love to talk about the weather. It is likely to start from this topic in many cases. You do not have to talk from yourself. Please try to enrich the story of the weather that the other person speaks. Please keep in mind that you always return it positive way.

Example

A-san:  “It is cold today, is not it?”

B-san:  “Yes, it is said that it is the coldest winter this winter, but the cold weather makes hot sake delicious, so why do not we go drinking together next time?

 

2, News stories

From now on, let’s check the Japanese news. Besides big news, an interesting news such as “baby panda in Ueno” are also useful. If the other person likes animals or cute things, you may be able to mix those topics in the middle of the story. Also, Ueno is famous as a sightseeing spot, so you can use it when that story comes up. Television, internet and radio are useful, and referring advertisements in the train is also helpful to know outline of news. If you have news you care about, look it up on the spot with a smartphone.

 

3, Review your country

How well do you know about your country? Let’s check not only cultures and customs, but also current trends in your country. By knowing how it is different from Japan, you may be interested in the other party. You may also find the same place as Japan. A special products of your city is a good topic to talk about.

 

4, School days experiences

Have you tried hard on something? Not only your major field of study, but also part time job or your boom at that time can be a good topic for chat. It would be better to summarize some of the hardships into episodes rather than having fun. Japanese people are interested in how you have studied Japanese. Let’s recall, for example, what was difficult and what kind of words you liked.

 

Some people think that, “Even if I have stories, I cannot speak well!” However, listening to chats properly is one of the most important things. Especially for the people from Chinese background, I recommend that it is better to nod more than you normally do when listening the conversation.

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