I find Terrie’s Take – a weekly newsletter from Japan by Kiwi Japan resident businessman Terrie Lloyd – indispensable to understanding what’s going on on the ground in Japan in terms of business trends.
This week’s main article is no exception, confirming something I had always suspected, that the Japanese annual planning cycle is so rigidly predictable, even acquisitions happen at certain regular times of year. March is the peak, because (as we often find with our Japan Intercultural Consulting training business), there’s budget left, earmarked for a specific purpose (whether it’s acquisitions or training) and it has to be used up before April 1st and the new financial year or else it gets handed back to the corporate treasury. And apparently a second peak is around July, because some more traditional companies feel the need to get the necessary rubber stamp from the annual board meetings (which mostly happen in June).
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