Fresh & Hot from Japan, 22 to 26 August 2016

Please enjoy fresh & hot news from Japan with comments by Europe-Japan Dynamics.

22 Aug. Nursing by night without disturbing patients by light, An ear cover light developed by Shimane University

Shimane University announced that it developed an LED light for nurses to use hanged on the ear to take care of patients during the night. The wish of a nurse of the hospital attached to the medical department of the University to have a hands-free light which light up the hand without disturbing patients has come true. This lamp is a result of development with companies in Izumo city (Shimane Prefecture) and to be launched in commercial markets in the autumn.

Comments: This case convinces us that technologies find a way to be welcome in society when they are used to help people.

島根大 耳架けライト

23 Aug. UFJ Bank and Hitachi, starting experiment of the electronic check using FinTech

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Hitachi, Ltd. announced that they began demonstration experiment of electronic issuing and settlement of checks using FinTech (Information Technologies for the financial sector) in Singapore. They aim at putting the electronic check system in practical use in 2018, and plan to use it in Japan and other countries in Asia in the future.  In the experiment, so-called “block chain” technology, that encrypts business transaction records such as the settlement will be used.

Comments: The electronic check will accelerate the speed of transaction and therefore money flow in the economy.

24 Aug. The super high-quality sake “rice wine” of Y 88,000.- ($ 880.-) being exported

It costs 88,000 yen or about $ 880.- (tax-excluded) per bottle of 750 milliliters. Such a super high quality sake “Mujaku” has been put on sale. A venture company of Yamaguchi-shi and a sake producer of Iwakuni-shi, Yamaguchi ken, developed it. One thousand (1,000) bottles will be produced, out of which 250 bottles will be sold in Japan. The rest will be exported as “Rice wine” to Dubai, France, etc. Online purchase is also possible from the link here —

Comments: Sales and consumption of Sake has been shrinking in Japan since years. The sake industry must have a new strategy to appeal the sake to wider markets and a large variety of consumers.

25 Aug. Drying the clothes with high-speed wind of 300km/hour, Hitachi to release a new model of a washing and drying machine

Hitachi Appliances,Inc. is releasing a new model “BD-SV110A” of the drum-type washing and drying machine, “Heat recycling wind iron big drum slim” series in September. In addition to a major feature of this series of drying with a high speed wind of approximately 300km per an hour while steaming the clothes, it has become possible to dry the clothes with less wrinkles by improving the turn control of the drum.  The washing capacity is 11 kg. The price without TVA will be around 310,000 yen (about CHF 3000.-).

Comments: What an expensive washing machine it is!

26 Aug. Insominia treatment using the Internet,  a new cognitive-behavioral therapy without using drugs

Chiba University Hospital developed a treatment program of the insomnia using the Internet. The therapy is based on the cognitive-behavioral therapy that enables a patient to review his/her way of thinking and action without depending on medicine, while staying at home. The hospital is recruiting participants of the clinical trial to check an effect of the treatment.

Comments: It is a therapy that allows us to voluntarily work on the brain.

  • All the news items are picked up from “Asahi Digital”, and summarized and translated by Europe-Japan Dynamics. The articles are not an official translation by the Asahi Newspaper.

Inside a Japanese head — How to avoid fatal mistakes with Japan, Zürich, 19 May 2016


Inside a Japanese head —

How to avoid fatal mistakes with Japan

in cooperation with Swiss-Japanese Chamber of Commerce

Zurich, 19 May



Tokyo by FB_2016-2
Tokyo is always dynamic. What is in a head of Japanese? Photo by F. Behrouz

What is going on inside the head of your Japanese business partner?

A unique workshop will take place enabling you to visit the inner workings of your Japanese business partners and clients.

The workshop will be interactive. You will be challenged by practical situations, which many Swiss people encounter. You will learn how to work better with your Japanese contacts and benefit more from your exposure to Japanese culture.

Please bring your specific problems and challenges with Japan to the workshop. A Japanese senior insider will examine the problems with you on site and help find solutions.

Potential problems

  • “The Japanese decision-making process is so mysterious!”
  • “I don’t know if I’m interacting well with my Japanese colleagues.”
  • “Why do the Japanese always do things in their own way?”
  • “How can I say ‘No’ to my Japanese customers without offending them?”
  • More …

Who should attend?

  • Executives and managers in charge of Japan for; Sales, Business Development, Global Operations, Project Management, Training, Human Resources, Communications, and more.
  • Representatives of public, commercial and cultural associations who interact with Japan.

Your benefits

  • To better understand the Japanese way of thinking
  • To feel at ease interacting with your Japanese business partners and employees
  • To discuss face to face with senior experts and clarify your pending issues with Japan

Date    18:30 – 21:30 Thursday, 19 May 2016

Location      Salon Rudolf, Au Premier, Bahnhofplatz 15, 8021 Zürich (In the building of the Zurich railway station)

Program      18:30 – 20:30 Workshop, 20:30 –   Aperitif and Networking

Organisation   Europe-Japan Dynamics and VDF Coaching & Cultures

In cooperation with Swiss-Japanese Chamber of Commerce (SJCC)

Fees (To be paid at the door)

   SJCC Members CHF 100.-
   Non-SJCC CHF 150.-

“Come with three, pay for two” — If two persons participate from the same organisation, the third person will be free.

Registration : Please call or write to Yoshiko KURISAKI, Founder, Europe-Japan Dynamics,     e-mail / Tel. 076 411 6076

  • Registration for the workshop is kindly requested by 6 May 2016.


  • In case of cancellation, thank you for letting us know by 6 May latest. It will allow us to give a seat to someone who needs it.
  • We will be obliged to charge cancellation after 9 May or no-show to cover the costs of the workshop.

Who is Yoshiko KURISAKI?

Yoshiko, a Japanese national, is the founder and executive consultant of Europe-Japan Dynamics, a specialist of cross-cultural management between Switzerland, Europe and Japan. She has unique competence drawn upon over 20 years of business experience in Japan (NTT) and Europe (OECD and SITA). Member of SJCC. Customer testimonials àhttp://

Who is Verónica De la Fuente?

Verónica De la Fuente, a Chile national, has been working as an intercultural trainer and consultant in the last 15 years. Veronica is a Professional Coach certified by the International Coaching Federation (ICF). In the workshop, she will introduce the positioning of Japan in the world cultures.


Registration by 6 May 2016   Yoshiko KURISAKI, Founder, Europe-Japan Dynamics,

e-mail / Tel. 076 411 6076

Please find a workshop flier here –>  Workshop_Inside a Japanese head_May_2016_v2

Lessons from western professional women who visited Japan — From “Moshi moshi, Japan?”, 23 October 2015

Naturally, neat & tidy. Ningyo-cho, Tokyo
Naturally, neat & tidy. Ningyo-cho, Tokyo

We had a very lively discussion at “Moshi moshi, Japan?” on 23 October, participated by professional women who have first-hand yet various work-relationships with Japan.

Highlights of the discussion are —

  • Too may people

“Japan is stressful. There are so many people.”

“No, that’s not true. There are so many people on streets in Tokyo, but they don’t touch each other. People know how to behave in the crowd. I was surprised to know it. In Europe, people don’t care.”

  • Communication

“Eye-contact is taken as too strong in Japan.”

“A good idea is to look at the area between the eyes of your counterpart.”

“One should take time in communication in English. It is also a sign of respect.”

  • Fashion

“Japanese professional women used to be dressed conservatively. Now I met many women who want to be unique, and look for personalization.”

  • Cultural training was needed

“One can’t leave the office at 6 PM in a Japanese company. If you do it, you are selfish. Being European, I took a training course to learn the Japanese way of thinking in a Japanese company I worked.”

  • Wisdom of a frequent visitor

“The most important thing I leaned by working with Japan is patience. It has taken me four years to create a good work-relationship.”

I try different things every time I go to Japan.”

The European professional women are doing well! Intellectual curiosity, respect and patience are three keys that lead to the work relationship built on trust.

Next meeting Friday, 20 November, 2015  ****************

Theme “Helping Switzerland and Japan for 28 years”

Presenter — Mr. Kiyoshi IMAI, Trade and Investment Adviser, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Geneva

Registration: By e-mail or phone to Yoshiko Kurisaki, Europe-Japan Dynamics, Tel. 076 411 6076


For speeches, workshops, consulting, article writing, etc. please contact


Clues for the western professional women visiting Japan, “Moshi moshi, Japan?”, Geneva, Friday, 23 October

Moshi moshi, Japan?, Geneva, Friday, 23 October (Speaker is changed.)


“Moshi moshi, Japan?” is an informal meet-up with people doing business with Japan.

Theme “Clues for the western professional women visiting Japan”

  • What is the status of working women in Japan?
  • What is an appropriate business attire?
  • How to carry on negotiation with Japanese businessmen?
  • And more

Presenter Yoshiko KURISAKI, Europe-Japan Dynamics

Date and time: From 18h00 to 19h15, Friday, 23 October
Place: McDonald (find us at a table on the 1st Floor), 22, rue du Mont-Blanc, 1201 Geneva (1 min from Cornavin station)
Languages: French and English
Fee: CHF 10.- for Organisation and your own coffee

Registration: By e-mail or phone to Yoshiko Kurisaki, Europe-Japan Dynamics, Tel. 076 411 6076

Next meeting   ————————————————-

Friday, 20 November, 2015

Theme “Helping Switzerland and Japan for 28 years”
Presenter to be confirmed.  Mr. Kiyoshi IMAI, Trade and Investment Adviser, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Geneva

What is it like for a French man to be President of a Japanese company? — From “Moshi moshi, Japan?”, 19 June. 2015

What did a French man find when he was a president of a Japanese company in the aerospace industry for 8 years?

At the age of 29 years old, Patrice was appointed to be the president of a Japanese company, that had been just acquired by a French company. Though he spoke Japanese already, he still had a number of findings in the Japanese business culture.

The Japanese are uniform. When
The Japanese are uniform. When “No necktie” is recommended, all do the same. (Tokyo)
  • A long time to sell to major Japanese companies

Our major clients are well-established and large Japanese companies. They were conservative and didn’t trust us as quick as European and American clients did. The Japanese clients asked us requested us various data and samples, that even included confidential information.

The CEO and factory managers of my parent company didn’t understand such Japanese business culture. My role was to educate them. To do so, I brought them to to meetings with Japanese customers.

  • What was a clue to success?

It is important to show commitment to clients. In my case, I always visited the customers with the Director of Sales of my company, rather than staying in the office. I did sals myself. This worked to the clients. In addition, the attitude of customers were softer to me than they were to my Japanese staff.

  • Very high quality requirements

Quality requirements of Japanese clients are much higher than the one by European and American companies. For example, even a smallest scratch on your product is unacceptable for the Japanese, even though it has nothing to do with its functions. This is because the Japanese are concerned about the root cause.

You must have a system in place to be prepared for a case something wrong happens. It is another way to show your commitment.

  • How to assess the satisfaction of Japanese customers

The Japanese customers do not complain, hence you can be profitable at a small scale. In contrast, the French complain and the Americans, cheat the system. For the Japanese, you must get a feel of dissatisfaction or satisfaction. If you don’t feel their dissatisfaction, the Japanese customers may just disappear.

  • How to manage the Japanese staff

I was 23 years old when I entered the company and became the president when I was 29. I spoke Japanese and my young colleagues took me around. I even participated in “Settai”, a dinner with clients. These experience helped me to manage the staff.

Japanese staff wait for a boss to tell them to do A, B, C, …. In addition, a close follow-up is needed. In contrast, the Europeans are independent and they take initiatives. You can let them go. The French needs much motivation but not being told.

  • Strong resistance to the change

In recruitment, I found that many people were afraid of working in a foreign-owned company, We offered high salary but it didn’t work well. We could hire only those who worked in other foreign companies before.

Japanese people are highly uniform in their working habit. A strong leadership counts to make any change.

Forthcoming meetings — “Moshi moshi, Japan?” will meet again in the autumn 2015. Planned dates are, 23 October, 20 November and 3 December. Will keep you posted.

Wish to know how to succeed in business with Japan?

Please ask Yoshiko KURISAKI for more –> yoshiko,