Mitsui Trading Company

In: Historical Events

Submitted By roykyaw
Words 931
Pages 4
i, Thu Yain Kyaw Disc Session: Friday, 9AM, Nicholas Hall
Case 9: Sherman Cochran, “Mitsui Trading Company” The Japanese Victory: An observation of Culture and Location The case “Mitsui Trading Company” chronicles the victory of Japan over the Western competitors in international commerce. The case mentions various reasons for the Mitsui’s success, but gave little observation to culture and geographical context as factors for the success. It can be argued that culture was in fact the most important factor as it seems to be the root factor that allowed for much of the strategies cited in the case to be successful; coupled with the geographical proximity of Japan to China, the Japanese had a strong advantage over the American firms. Firstly, between the three countries, Japan and China are likely to have a deeper level of shared culture than China with America. The two countries shared the Chinese writing system and literature culture over long periods of time (Lecture: Is there an East Asian Culture?). This shared East Asian culture could have accelerated the immersion of the Japanese China specialists within China, which the case attributes heavily as a factor of the Mitsui’s success. The case mentions that Mitsui was able to extend its foreign marketing organization much farther down China’s urban hierarchy than its American ricvals… (Cochran, Sherman Page 84). The Japanese were not only “familiar with China’s customs as well as its language” but went as far as to adopt wearing the Chinese garments and living with Chinese families (Cochran, Sherman Page 73). This level of immersion and the speed at which it was executed would perhaps have been impossible for the Americans to emulate as the cultural gap between United States and China would have been much larger. Another reason cited within the case for the Mitsui’s success at gaining a larger consumer…...

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