Market View


2011/10/26 Wednesday
Cha Yun, Chairman, Founder of Chayun Public Relations
Cha, Yun, Chairman, Founder of Chayun Public Relations I have a lot of foreign friends through work relationships. Many of them are executives who have plenty of business experience in Japan and we often talk about life and business in Japan. Interestingly, all of them tell me that they would like to visit Korea.

At first, I thought they were just using flattery as a diplomatic gesture, but I wondered why almost all of them said the same things. At last, I discovered it is related to their culture and life in Japan.

Foreign business people often say that it is difficult to do business in Japan because the Japanese have complicated thought patterns and an unclear work style. When they say “yes”, it is difficult to recognize if they truly mean “yes” or actually mean “no”. They are polite, kind, and react positively during discussions, only to reject the proposal later on. This confuses many foreign business people. I thought it was a matter of their English skills, but it seems there are other reasons for this. Compared to the Japanese, Koreans are less difficult to work with because they do not hide the true meaning of what they say.

As I have worked in Japan for several years, I recognize their attempts at flattery. I think that for foreigners, the Japanese way of business looks two-faced and complicated, and that they do this in order to secure their own interests. Moreover, I think foreign business people have not realized that the unique Korean opacity is a more serious problem.

Either way, for future business to move forward, there is no doubt we must move toward the “Global Standard”. From now on, I believe that we have to make an effort to increase transparency in business negotiations.