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  • Titill er á ensku Invisible Japan: Are old Japanese values hindering further internationalization?
  • Bakkalár
  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    Japan is facing a serious population decrease in the next forty years. People´s longevity and reduced birth rates put Japan in a situation where it is likely it might have to increase immigration. However, such rapid increase in foreigners is a delicate situation that should be looked at on a sociological level so as to avoid cultural clashes. Therefore it is important to look at the old traditional values in school and work life in Japan in order to gain a greater understanding of foreigner relations. There are many theories surrounding these traditional values but many tend to be oversimplifications. One such theory accredits the Tokugawa period (1600-1868) with many of the values found in modern Japan. The school system on the other hand, gives an insight into how values like cooperation enter the public mind, not to mention the senpai/kohai system of seniority. Contrary to what many believe, many of the values in the work place were only implemented in the early 20th century. It could perhaps be implemented to appease today´s international market. Foreign workers in Japanese companies are largely regarded as temporary workers, but are often given better benefits. Some traditions of the old work system like the strict rules regarding presentation of a business card can seem strange and unnecessary to foreign workers not used to such procedures. These out-dated traditions coupled with Japan´s overwork epidemic do not make Japanese companies look good in comparison. Young people are rejecting the older work systems and creating their own work style by becoming freeters, thereby indicating that change is already happening.

  • 19.1.2012

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