International marketing can be defined as trading overseas or coordinating marketing strategies across markets according to company’s resources and nature of opportunities and threat. It involves export marketing where trade is carried out the home country. International marketing has the objective of appreciating the position and interests of individual countries, recognizing the diversity of stakeholders, assessing the restraining and the driving forces that are present in the international market and evaluating the approaches and classification systems in the market (Fletcher & Crawford, 2011). Japan imports most of its agricultural and food products because the country’s arable land is little compared to its population, number of food farmers is decreasing due to the aging of farming population and because of its high domestic production costs that have made its imports very competitive. Japans business environment has the characteristic of lifetime employment where people are recruited right from college and work until they retire. They also involve group unity through company activities, ceremonies, uniforms ad slogans. It has ideal business relationships and communal values that are not found in other countries. These communal values are: trust, compatibility, stability, flexibility, corporation, commitment, co-operation, common goals and harmony. Many people in Japan also have lengthy working hours and long commuting hours hence do not have time for farming.

Foreign food and agricultural companies exporting to Japan must accept the ruling by a Japanese laboratory with regard to the quality of a product. Why do you think the Japanese insist on this criterion to determine acceptability of a product when there are international standards and testing methodologies that are used for international trade in most other countries?

The Japanese government has set its own methodology and standards for food being imported into the country. For example, the average tariff of imported food is 19 percent which is higher than those for other countries, for instance United States has 9.7 percent (Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, 2011). They have also placed non tariff barriers that are complicated such as labeling regulations, strict regulations for ingredients and quarantine procedures for fresh vegetables and fruits. It insists on food and agricultural product being imported to fit Japanese laboratory requirement in regard to quality of the product. Foreign food and agricultural companies exporting to Japan must accept the ruling by a Japanese laboratory with regard to the quality of a product.TheJapanese insist on this criterion to determine acceptability of a product when there are international standards and testing methodologies that are used for international trade in most other countries. The reason as to why it has its own standards is to ensure that they deal with countries that have consumer products that are safe and of high quality. Placing high standards ensures that not all countries will be able to meet this standards and it narrows down trading relationships with many countries. Countries that are able to meet this standards form long term relationships with the Japanese market in that they can even make trading agreement that will benefit all of them. Japanese is able to limit some of its competitors and still maintain the good quality of foods imported. They have established ties with the Canadian government because most of their products meet the Japanese laboratory requirements hence giving them an advantage over other competitors.

Japan is always a trendsetter and a pacesetter in many areas of production. In them forming their own standards and procedures, they set the pace for other countries to follow suit with an aim of promoting production of quality goods and services that are above normal standards. The Japanese government has set high standards for taste, quality, appearance and safety of their food to create a wide preference and good eating habits of its people.The Japanese convenient way of living encourages the urge for convenient food which is of low prices but higher quality. Food is also the second largest expenditure after housing and hence should be treated with great importance. According to Hasler (2005), many aging people in the population were found to be diabetic. The Japanese government hence added restriction in their food products that calcium should be in plenty in order to safeguard and improve the health of this people. The country puts the health of the consumers first and they would rather jeopardize their relationships with other countries for the safety of their kinsman.

Japan imports have fell due to the heavy bans and restrictive measures placed on the exports. Countries have begun to lift imports bans when Japan agricultural industry fell. Japan wanted domestic agriculture to observe with seriousness by imposing strict standards for food and agricultural products that are way above the international standards. These standards are confidential to the Japanese government and many countries do not get to know about the testing procedures and techniques followed. It is not known whether Japan do not agree to trade with some countries knowingly or purposely. This is because when the products are measured in domestic countries they are found to possess the required contents.The country has been reported to have self sufficient production for rice as its staple food. Consumers have agreed to pay slightly more to have food and agricultural products to be produced at home (Japan Agribusiness report, 2011). This means that Japan imposes heavy bans and restrictions on imports in order to produce food locally and to discourage importation from other countries. Japans ministry of agriculture is said to be working on ways of improving the domestic market in that consumers will be consuming home made food. The country is formulating strategic measures in that some of the people will be prompted to work in the farming sector. Its high population provides an advantage in that the people in the society can be divided to work in both formal and informal sectors. The individuals who acquired minimal or no education will work in the farms while the elites will work in companies.


Devexco can reduce the risk of presenting substandard goods to Japan by learning on the Japanese laboratory requirements in depth and carefully. They will have to introduce capital outlay in order to meet the strict specifications imposed. The Japanese have a protective attitude for their consumers and create specifications depending on design standards (Schaffer, Agusti & Earle, 2008). This is cost effective and Devexco Company has to have a lot of capital outlay if they have the priority of meeting Japan’s food regulations and requirements. The company should also form relations with the appropriate authorities in order to obtain essential information on Japanese food regulations and standards. Kerr (1994), advices that countries that want to export their goods to Japan should become familiar with the regulations and establish working relationships with the appropriate regulatory officials. This will enable them to gain more information on the standards and regulations. The company can also form relations with countries that are already in trade partnership with Japan.

Devexco Company can advertise their products through the internet and target the Japanese market in that they will be able to obtain comments and suggestions on the consumer’s products and services and the data collected can be used to conduct improvement on the products. The company should ensure that it produces quality products irrespective of the country it is going to be trading with. This will increase the market of its products and reduce risk of losses in future. The culture of producing quality food and agricultural products creates the confidence of clients in the product and the market for the product will increase. Online marketing has been introduced with the introduction of technology and the internet. Consumers now prefer making their own purchase through the internet. Devexco can deal with consumers directly and avoid the severe inspection provided by the Japanese government. This is because the products will be inspected under the consumer’s name which is less complex than its products being inspected from the company’s point of view. The consumers can also demand more of the company’s product if they meet their expectations and this may push the Japan government to start importing their products without much restriction. They should make appropriate use of the internet and web site designs to attract potential customers and convince the reluctant ones. They can also translate the adverts to the language the consumers also understand.

Devexco Company can deal with other countries that have lower standards or those that operate freely. This will assist them in avoiding the costs and the risks of having their products rejected. Ha can join those countries that have agreed to work against the Japanese government and beat them at their own game. Strange (1993), some countries had suggested to impose high standards for the Japanese imports so as to even the score after Japanese imposed high standards on their exports. They discouraged people from meeting the Japanese standards by implying that they were awkward and backward in trying so hard to meet the Japanese requirements. The company should therefore engage in more profitable businesses that require less costs and les restrictions.

Devexco should appreciate the impact of culture in the market. They should have experimented or carried out investigations with other companies that had already dealt with Japan in order to reduce future risks. They should evaluate how cultural differences delay international communications and recognize the need for sensitivity in culture when carrying out trade negotiations. This will reduce the risk of making losses in future and know the environment they are going to deal with so that they cannot be overconfident. The company should not make assumptions when it comes to testing of their products, they should choose a company that is a hundred percent accurate and effective when it comes to testing for standards and regulations. They should ensure that the companies are familiar with all standards in the market whether self created or not.



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