Entrepreneurship and Cooperation in Japan with Comparative View: SMEs in Regional development

Oikawa Tomoko
Euro-Asia Centre,
Dept of Economics, Kemmy Business School,
University of Limerick
Castletroy, Co. Limerick, Ireland
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This chapter highlights entrepreneurship of small and medium enterprises (henceforth SMEs) in Japan. The majority of enterprises consist of SMEs, and they have located more in local areas. SMEs are struggling with both domestic and international problems - population decline, aging population, increasing imported cheap products, changing consumers’ needs and the globalization of economy. Also local people are challenging to ‘hollowing-out’ of villages or towns. Governments have targeted new business starting/establishment for regional economic revitalization, promoting entrepreneurship for locally, regionally and nationally. Above all SMEs themselves are tackling entrepreneurial activities on their own and local people as well for survival, maintenance, evolution and/or further development of busıness and communıty. In this sense they are all more or less the embodiments of entrepreneurship. Thıs chapter explores what and how they are endeavoring in entrepreneurship in Japan. It appears that a type of collectivism of Japanese society, cooperation, is at the base of their way of entrepreneurship. This could show what the intriguing features of entrepreneurship in Japan are, and that they are different in thıs sense from EU, in terms of actuality in entrepreneurship.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, SMEs, networking, cooperatives, cooperation, local communıty

JEL codes: P13, R11, Z1


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