By Dominic Carter
There’s no polite way of saying it. It seems to me lately that Japan is turning into a nation of cheapskates. But, truth be told, Japanese have always adopted a defensive stance when it comes to spending money. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to establish a relationship of trust with Japanese buyers, before they will part with their or their company’s “hard-earned”. Building trust and status have always been the prerequisites for brands to entice people in this country to open their wallets. And when those prerequisites are met, until recently, they have spent big. For example, Japan’s luxury business for many years weathered the long-term national economic decline. Consumers simply made economies in other areas of their budget so that they could splurge on whatever totemic item that was flavour of the month.