Communication Problems Of Overseas Japanese Corporations

978 words - 4 pages

Communication Problems of Overseas Japanese Corporations
Introduction My six years of work experience in China allowed me to observe the Japanese culture objectively. I noticed that one common problem causes many business failures, namely, our communication style; it is proving to be an obstacle in the way of Japanese globalization. Reality of Japanese Traditional Companies English is indeed used as a communication language all over the world, but I suspect that the Japanese might not fully or correctly utilize English due to the cultural differences. In China, I saw surprisingly few Japanese people who could compete with English or Chinese speakers in business. Since I have also suffered ...view middle of the document...

Most notably, Japanese people are desperately poor in negotiations with people having different cultures. This is because we have just one set of communication styles: oppressive, begging, or extremely fuzzy. As a result, Japanese parties cannot find a mutual ground, and the negotiations fail. I used to be a poor negotiator too, but thanks to the tough Chinese bargainers, I have been trained ever since I began to speak Mandarin. The problem raises another fundamental issue: our English-speaking ability itself. In the age of globalization, knowledge of English is identified as a must; in contrast, lots of Japanese employees still believe that they can work overseas using only Japanese. In China, most of the Japanese expatriates could speak neither English nor Chinese. Instead, they just depended on interpreters which adds time, costs and risks, but they do not change their stance. This tendency is remarkably recognized in the management class (mostly men). It is rather questionable whether Japanese companies are really seeking ‘global human resources’, or if they just want obedient interpreters according to their management styles. This is another controversial problem that prevents Japanese companies’ globalization. Possible Solutions and Approaches I believe that the Japanese people’s poor English communication skill is originated from our culture schema. For example, in Japanese primary schools, pupils’ attitudes are forced to be passive due to the conventional style of classes that is comfortable for teachers to control class. It is actually the best time for communication training through oral interaction since children’s creativities and communication abilities are budding. I strongly rebut this teaching style and teachers should activate pupils’ communication ability through some training such as debate even in Japanese basis.

Another possible approach is to teach English with communication skills simultaneously in debates and group sessions. One of the merits is that students can take on another persona while speaking in English. Using a foreign language motivates them to switch characters, allowing them to clearly express their opinions...

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