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Canon, A Country, Environmental, And Cultural Analysis Project

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A Country, Environmental and Cultural Analysis Project

February 25, 2007

Table of Contents:

Abstract Page 3

Part I: Country Analysis Page 4

Part II: Environmental Analysis Page 6

Part III: Cultural Analysis Page 21

Part IV: Implications for Doing Business in that Country Page 24

References Page 26


Slightly smaller than the state of California, Japan has propelled itself into a position of economic power over the last 60 years. Japan's economic strength is due to a strong national pride supported by its religion and group culture. Japan was able to very quickly industrialize after World War II and reap strong economic benefits. Many of the benefits can be linked to the strong culture that stressed not the individual but the household; the company worked for and the social group that one belonged to. However, Japanese culture is in a current state of transition and close attention must be observed in order to successfully negotiate and participate in business ventures.

With a strong political stability factor, Canon Inc., is a company that was able to navigate the reconstruction of its country and successfully grow, merge and adapt to technological changes held over the past century making it a leader in photo imaging services and a strong contender in business operation machines to include printers, fax machines and typewriters. Furthermore, Canon's ability to build upon Japanese distribution systems and appropriately predict emerging technologies has helped her remain extremely competitive in her markets and will help her to navigate new markets as the old ones approach saturation and maturity.

Overall, Japan is a stable country but there is a dark underbelly to her hidden away by politeness, sacrifice of self and perhaps ego. Japan continues to have an elitist government view where business and bureaucracy are interlinked despite reform efforts, people continue to push themselves with little to no potential recognition as seen by entrance examination processes and Japan remains a homogenous country with very few minority groups or minority presence which is often looked down upon.

Part I: Country Analysis

Slightly smaller than the state of California, Nippon Koku translates as Land of the Rising Sun; this otherwise known as Japan is home to one of the worlds most creative forces in consumer electronics. Japan is located in Eastern Asia with its closest country neighbors being: Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), Republic of Korea (South Korea), Russia, People's Republic of China and Taiwan. Currently Japan has land disputes with China for islands located just north of Taiwan called the Senkaku Islands and with Russia for four islands just north of Japan's internationally recognized land border. Japan is an island country comprising of four major islands, the Sea of Japan (between the Korean Peninsula and mainland Japan,) the Tartar Strait between Russia and Hokkaido(the northern most island) and the Tsushima Strait between Japan and the Korean Peninsula. It has a mountainous terrain (approximately 75% of the land) with a very active volcanic lifestyle. According to the CIA World Factbook, there are about 1,500 seismic occurrences every year as a result of volcanic activity (World Factbook, 2006) creating a tenuous natural disaster atmosphere with tsunami warnings and numerous typhoons.

The capital of Japan is Tokyo, a mega city with approximately 12 million people living within her limits. This number equates approximately 10% of Japan's total estimated population of 127,500,000 persons (CIA Factbook, 2006). Nearly 80% of the country's population lives in urban areas with more than 50% living on two percent of the land (Library of Congress, 1994).

The major language of Japan is Japanese with English being the primary secondary language students are allowed to learn. The people are also deeply influenced by religion. There are two major religions in Japan which are Shinto and Buddhism. These two religions constitute approximately 84% of Japanese beliefs (CIA Factbook, 2006). Christianity makes up less than one percent of the belief system. Finally, Japan has a 99% literacy rate defined as people over the age of 15 can read and write due to a "compulsory free nine-year education followed by public and private upper-secondary schools supplemented by preschools and after-school education" (Library of Congress, 1994).

Japan utilizes a free-market economy system heavily influenced by the United States after World War II. Japan's GDP is estimated at $4.22 Trillion with a Purchasing Power Parity of $33,100 in 2006 (CIA World Factbook, 206). The currency for Japan is the Yen with an exchange rate of 1 dollar equaling about 115 yen. Exported Goods equal an approximated $590.3 billion and include transport equipment, motor vehicles, semiconductors, electrical machinery and chemicals. Major export partners include the US 22.9%, China 13.4%, South Korea 7.8%, Taiwan 7.3%, and Hong Kong 6.1%. Major imports equal $524.1 billion and include machinery and equipment, fuels, foodstuffs, chemicals, textiles, raw materials. Japan has very little in natural resources due to its geographic features (primarily being mountainous) and small size. Major import partners include China 21%, US 12.7%, Saudi Arabia 5.5%, UAE 4.9%, Australia 4.7%, South Korea 4.7%, and Indonesia 4%.

Japan is represented by a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary government and represented by a legal system modeled after European civil law system with English-American influence (CIA World Factbook, 2006). The head of the state is the Emperor Akihito in a ceremonial role whereas the head of government is the Prime Minister Abe recently appointed after in 2006.

Part II: Environmental Analyses (SWOT-PEST)

Political Forces:

Starting at the national level, Japan has numerous parties affiliated with the Diet however it wasn't until recently that the legislative branch had more than one political power (Economist, 2006). According to the same source, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has become polarized of recent due to economic policies pushed by Fmr Prime Minister Koizumi. Those policies may threaten the political power process in Japan where business men and bureaucrats


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