Consumer/market research

Authored by: Emi Moriuchi

Routledge Handbook of Japanese Business and Management

Print publication date:  February  2016
Online publication date:  January  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415734189
eBook ISBN: 9781315832661
Adobe ISBN: 9781317859550


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A multidimensional perspective is essential when researching the Japanese consumer market. Recent international programmes have been focusing on the health of the Japanese market. For example, NHK World broadcast (February 2014) a session known as the Global Debate WISDOM ( In this session, there was a panel of experts discussing Japan’s current affairs, enquiring about Japan’s path to recovery after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Specifically, discussions were on Japanese’s economy and how the implementation of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic policies (i.e. Abenomics) has an effect on the recovery of the Japanese market. The discussion focused on various subtopics, including working people’s demographics, foreign imports, and wage increments. From those discussions, it suggested that when conducting research on the consumer market in Japan, it is essential to look at various areas of enquiry, as they are all interlinked. Some of the major and most prevalent areas to look at are the health of the economy, Japan’s approach to internationalization, and Japanese e-commerce. Most importantly, however, is what drives all these business movements in the Japanese market. These movements stem from the traditional Japanese culture that is embedded in the business practices. To have a better understanding of how to conduct market research in the current consumer market, this chapter will cover a variety of topics: Japanese culture, value and belief systems; changes in Japanese society; Japanese cultural influence on consumer research; an overall understanding of the Japanese market; Japanese marketing; the Japanese approach to international business; the distribution system; and lastly we will be exploring the booming online industry of Japanese e-commerce.

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