Japan is presenting itself as a market that is hungry for online gambling operators to start doing business with them. Whereas legislation is still ambiguous, regulation of online gambling is on the works for Japan. In the first article of this series you can learn about the first challenges that an affiliate faces when attempting to enter the Japanese online gambling market.

Initial Challenges:

Exploring Japan Beyond Sushi

There are two main challenges that an affiliate will face when approaching the Japanese online gaming market: language and real money players. The first one is a concern that can be addressed in various ways, and the second one is a standard challenge in most online gaming markets.

If you are like me, the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Japan is sushi. To us Westerners, sushi is a delicious combination of mainly rice, vinegar and raw fish, yet most of us are unaware that the word “sushi” in Japanese translates as “sour-tasting.” The Japanese language is extremely complex and it uses characters to depict written speech, an idea that is very abstract to romance and latin language speakers.

You should keep in mind that a lot of online casinos already have their sites and applications translated to Japanese, so you should want to work with them throughout your beginnings in the Japanese market. This will ease the integration process, as you can run your site in English and still direct it to a Japanese audience, with the advantage that the casinos you promote are experts in the language. A lot of people in Japan speak English due to their business relationships and political bonds with the Western world, so at least when you start you can be certain that some players will understand what you say in English.

Business and the Japanese Culture

The next challenge to face is how to advertise and approach the Japanese audience. Japan is nothing like the Western world; it is as if they understand the world from another perspective, this is not negative, but we must understand that other places in the world are very different if we hope to engage in business with them.

The most important part of making business in Japan is to understand the culture’s ethics. The main principle of this is that the Japanese live under an honor/shame cultural code in many ways, and that this same code applies to how they do business. They expect you to be delivering, compromised, timely and very efficient.

There are books you can read about the Japanese system of business ethics, or you can just try to learn throughout the experience. The video above is the story of Australian entrepreneur Terrie Lloyd, a man who opened a company in Japan when he was 25 and he explain the language and cultural challenges that he faced while doing it.

Do you do business in Japan? Would you jump in the boat to enter the Asian market? What do you think of sushi? Let us know your thoughts and comments at our forums and in the comments section below!


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