Nationality and national culture are not granular enough to explain behavior. There is no “Japanese mindset.”
I have traveled to more than twenty countries, and lived outside my native United States for almost my entire adult life. I speak Japanese and French fluently, and just enough Italian, German, and Mandarin Chinese to get myself into trouble. When I put my mind to it, I can even fake Spanish—and people understand me! I have worked with and known people from all over the world. Yet, I have never known any single person who could be described as typical of the country from which they come, because it is not nationality that really matters.
Are you allowing the economy to dictate your results, or are you making your own economy?
In 1995, in the aftermath of the Kobe earthquake in which five thousand people lost their lives, an American businessman told me that he had been advised to lower his expectations for the Japan market because Japanese consumers had reduced their spending, so as not to appear ostentatious or feel guilty about enjoying life in the wake of the tragedy suffered by their compatriots.
On June 25th, I conducted an on-stage conversation with IHG/ANA Hotels Group Japan CEO, Hans Heijligers for both the American and French Chambers of Commerce at the Tokyo American Club. Here are my takeaways from that conversation.