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Japan's Cross-Cultural Management

            Japan is an incredible country with excellent economic and business competency, and rich in culture. It is the world's tenth largest country by population, with 127.3 million people. Tokyo, Japan's capital city is the world's largest metropolitan area, with a population of 32.5 million people. The ethnic groups in Japan consists of approximately 98.5% Japanese, 0.5% Koreans, 0.4% Chinese, and 0.6% others. The people in Japan are of an organized and traditional society, placing great emphasis on values such as loyalty, politeness, responsibility and teamwork. Other traits such as hard work, patience and determination are always held in the highest regard. .
             Most Japanese consider themselves Buddhist, Shintoist or both. Shinto and Buddhism are two of the most popular religions in the country. The religions have no formal dogma or scripture. Shinto is as old as the Japanese culture, while Buddhism was imported from the mainland in the 6th century. The two religions have been co-existing harmoniously since then. Religion does not play an important role in the daily lives of most Japanese people today. Most of them typically follow the religious rituals at ceremonies like childbirth, weddings , and funerals. Some may visit a temple on New Year's Day and participate in local festivals, such as Matsuri.
             Language .
             Being a homogenous nation, about 99% of its population speaks Japanese as their first language. It is beyond any doubt, one of the most difficult languages to learn. However, it can be done within a few months. A good way would be to attend basic Japanese language classes, at almost no cost, through the Tokyo Nihongo Volunteer Network that comprises of more than 200 classes around Tokyo. These classes are usually filled with housewives and retired businessmen. The purpose of these basic classes are to help foreign residents settle down at a faster pace, and solves their problems in dealing with communication barriers with their landlords or grocery store sales persons.

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