Lesson 81

Thursday, March 30th, 2023

Today’s Business Japanese is “Dokuritsu Shagai Torishimariyaku (Independent Outside Director)”.


It is reported that 72.8% of the 2,191 listed companies in Japan has elected Independent Outside Director whose number is more than one thirds of the total number of directors.

72.8% was increased by 14.1 points since last year and many listed firms have realized better corporate governance in Japan.


But, even if Japanese companies increased the number of “Dokuritsu Shagai Torishimariyaku”, there are still a lot of scandals such as Toshiba, Mitsubishi Electric, and Nissan.

And most of the private companies have not introduced “Dokuritsu Shagai Torishimariyaku” because listed firms have not improved their business after introducing them.


In addition to it, the number of listed companies who introduced “Shimei Iinkai (Nominating committee)” is 1,452 out of 2,191. which increase from 58.0% to 66.3%.


In the past, all directors was promoted from inside of the companies and the next president was nominated by the present president in Japan. Thus, corporate governance in Japan has change a lot, but we still have to watch whether it really works.

Lesson 80

Sunday, March 26th, 2023

Today’s Business Japanese is “Salaryman”.


“Salaryman” is Japan made English and foreigners do not understand it.

In English “Office Worker” has the closest meaning, but is not the same meaning.

Because the vocabulary, “Salary man” was created based on Japanese-style Business Management such as “Seniority System” and “Lifetime Employment”.

“Salary man” has the image of selfless devotion at a certain company.

“Salary man” is not selected among many persons and promoted nor is not fired.

They keep on working without speaking out their own opinion and just obey the oreder for entire life in a certain company.


Of course, I know a lot of “salary man” who speaks their own opinions and work as themselves.


I think that in order for Japan to get out of “the lost 30 years” since bubble economy collapsed Japanese presidents need to change “Life-time employment” and “Seniority System”, first.  By doing so, the way of working and mindset to the job will be surely change.

Lesson 79

Wednesday, March 15th, 2023

Today’s business Japanese is “Oo-Bantou”.

“Oo-Bantou” has been used as a head of employees since Edo-era.

“Oo-Bantou” well knows about “Genba” and runs the company.

Thus, “Oo-Bantou” acted as a right-hand person of the president.


Especially, when “Bon-bon” succeed the company from his father the role of “Oo-Bantou” becomes more important.

Since “Bon-bon Shachou” does not know anything about the business “Oo-Bantou” comes to need to make decisions even about strategic issues.


I think it is time to re-consider hereditary system both in the business world and political world.

Lesson 78

Thursday, March 9th, 2023

Today’s Business Japanese is “Bon-Bon president”

“Bon-Bon” means “A elite boy who was pampered and spoiled.”


“Bon-Bon President” often grow up in a private consistent school from elementary school to a university.

Therefore, they have never studied hard to pass the entrance examination.

They have not made efforts with team members toward a common goal in a sports club, either.

They just play around with a lot of pocket money given by their parents and have not worked at other people’s companies.

They work at parents’ company as a son of the president and succeed father’s firm.

However, because they have not had a hard time before, they can not run the company well and make their own companies go bankrupt.


Maybe some of you doubt this, but I know several people around me.


However, parents are to be blamed since it is parents’ duty to raise their children independently.

Lesson 77

Friday, March 3rd, 2023

Today’s Business Japanese is “Dangou”.

We often hear this word on TV, but some does not know much about “Dangou”, I think.


Originally, “Dangou” was done by Large Genral Construction companies when they get job from country or local governments.

Usually, several large general construction companies decide the rotation who win the bid of public works.

This time Company A win the bid, next time B firm does, next next time C company, and so on.

They also decide the bid amounts of each company in order to create the situation as if there is healthy competitive bidding.

In all cases, sales persons obtain the budget of public work from country or local governments in advance.

And they always win the bid with 99% of the budget amount.  Thus, they are always very profitable.

This is how “Dangou” works.


And this time “Dangou” was done at Tokyo Olympic Games by large advertising agencies.

Does “Dangou” happen only in Japan?

Lesson 76

Monday, February 20th, 2023

Today’s Business Slang is “Genba”.


In the business world “genba” often means “Sales site”, meaning customer site or shops/stores.

And, generally speaking, many Japanese top management think that “Genba” is the most important.

Therefore, they often visit customers, watch the sales situation by their own eyes, listen to the customers’ voice by their own ears, and make decisions based on thier own experiences.


On the other hand, Western top management make logical decisions based on the data and information gathered by their subordinates.

Thus, they make up their mind in the office without visiting “Genba”.


Both types have pros and cons and it is difficult to tell which is better.

Which type do you belong to?

Lesson 75

Thursday, February 16th, 2023

Today’s Business Japanese is “Rengou”.


You may often hear this word recently because of it is time for “Shuntou” now.


The official name is “Japan Trade Union Confederation” and was established in 1989.  The current number of memebrs is about 7 mil.

Their mission is to discuss and negotiate in order to improve the treatment and payment of Japanese labor.


Ms. Yoshino was elected as the first female chairperson of “Rengou”.


However, one of the main causes why Japanese wages has not increases for the past 30 years is told to be lies in “Rengou”.


40-50 years ago “Kokutetsu (Japanese National Railways)” often did strikes, but no company do strikes these years.

As a result, collective bargaining power of labor has weaken and “Rengou” could not make the labor treatment better.


If trains and airplanes stop, many people suffer from it, but not to do strikes has such kind of aspect, too.

Lesson 74

Thursday, February 9th, 2023

Today’s business Japanese is “Keidanren”.


Probably, many of you have ever heard of this word before.  The official name is “Nihon Keizai Dantai Rengou-kai” (Japan Business Federation), consisting of 1,494 Japanese main companies.


Then, what do they do?


They discuss and make decisions about key issues and topics they are facing and are taking actions to Japanese government, Labor unions, and citizens.


However, since the foreign firms and Japanese growing new companies do not participate in “Keidanren”, recently Keidanren’s opinions are told to be only a limited voice and do not reflect everyone’s opinion.

Lesson 73

Monday, January 30th, 2023

Today’s business slang is “Sougou-shoku” and “Jimu-shoku”.


“Sougou-shoku”is defined as “Professional” and mainly occupied by male until 1980’s.

On the other hand, “Jimu-shoku” is the jobs such as booking meeting rooms, filing the documents, and serving coffee and tea to the “Sougou-shoku” business professinal persons, occupied by female.


However, since the equal employment act more and more women started to work as a professionals.

At the same time a lot of office work were done by IT instead of human beings and each employee began to book meeting rooms online, started to keep documents and meterials online, and book the business trip online.  As a result, a lot of jobs previously done by “Jimu-shoku” disappeared.


But, still there is certain disparity between male and female.

I hope real equal society realize as soon as possible.

Lesson 72

Monday, January 23rd, 2023

Today’s business slang is “Shuntou”.


“Shuntou” literally means “Spring Fight” and is the discussions to decide new salary from every April between Company and labor.

“Base up” (BEA) of this year is expected to be beyond 5% because price increase of last December was 4.1%.

Large companies such as Suntory declared 6% of salary increase, but such as high level of increase can be realized only by large companies.


I hope that both Russian invasion into Ukraine and Covid-19 will end as soon as possible and that economy recovers soon.