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Japan is at a crossroads. The postwar economic miracle that brought it unprecedented development and prosperity is over. Since the publication of the first Culture Smart! guide, it has been overtaken by China as the world’s second-largest economy. The balance of power in Asia has shifted and new players are entering the field. Loss of influence abroad, economic pressure at home, and the problems posed by a rapidly aging population present a real challenge to Japan’s orderly and harmonious way of life, and to the very sense the Japanese have of themselves as a nation “apart.”
Traditional Japanese culture—based on a consensus-driven philosophy and underpinned by many protocols—is threatened by job insecurity, a growing class divide, and disillusionment with political leaders. But all is not lost. Japan is still a major economic power and cultural trendsetter, and the Japanese have a genius for innovation. The younger generation is open to change, women have a new confidence, and the country’s technical and scientific research capability is as good as it gets. There is a growing ecological awareness that may well translate into new forms of eco-friendly industries.
No one can predict how Japan will rise to the challenge, or what effect the changes will have on how people live, think, and behave. Paul Norbury’s revised and updated edition of Culture Smart! Japan will guide you through a shifting cultural maze, and help you make your visit to this important, dynamic, and creative society a rich and mutually rewarding experience.
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PAUL NORBURY has been closely associated with Japan as publisher, editor, and author since the early 1970s, when he launched the award-winning Tsuru magazine for Japan Airlines, the best of which was published in book form as Introducing Japan. He also co-edited with Geoffrey Bownas Business in Japan: A Guide to Japanese Business Practice and Procedure. In the 1980s he published Euro-Asia Business Review for the Euro-Asia Centre, INSEAD, Fontainebleau, and established the Japan Library. In 1990 he founded the quarterly Japan Digest, and in 1996 a new imprint, Global Oriental.Review:
Culture Smart! has come to the rescue of hapless travellers, Sunday Times Travel - ...the perfect introduction to the weird, wonderful and downright odd quirks and customs of various countries, Global Travel - ...full of fascinating, as well as common sense,
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