Quote Japan

Interesting, odd, outrageous or informative quotes about Japan

Tim Clark and Carl Kay- Quotes from Saying Yes to Japan

“As late as 1998,the Government Housing Loan Corporation…refused to lend to consumers buying homes over 20 years old…critics say [this policy] was designed to encourage new home building in order to help the politically powerful construction industry”

Saying Yes to Japan pg 74

“one private study calculated Japan’s ratio of used-to-new home sales at one to five, compared to six to one in the U.S. and seven to one in the U.K. Government statistics show Japan’s used-to-new home sales ratio to be one-thirtieth the U.S. number.” Saying Yes to Japan pg 75

 “Well into the 1990s Japan’s Tax Authority taxed used home transactions at more than 16 times the rate of new home sales: five percent versus only 0.3 percent” Saying Yes to Japan pg 75
“land winds up accounting for three-fourths of the total price of the typical house in Japan, while it accounts for only one-fourth the price of the average house in the United States” Saying Yes to Japan pg 73
“Nearly 100 percent of transactions through large real estate companies are handled on a dual agency basis” -(“dual agency is unethical or illegal in most nations”) Saying Yes to Japan pg 70

“Roads, bridges and rivers are primary. Water supply, housing, and sewer systems are secondary.” Tokyo Governor Yoshikawa Kensei in 1884. Not much has changed! Saying Yes to Japan pg 72

“Some of the most respected doctors in the highest positions in Japan are in fact notoriously incompetent”

Dr Kondo Makoto “an internationally respected cancer specialist” in Saying Yes to Japan pg 128

“most doctors… refuse to offer second opinions, looking to avoid conflict… with the colleague who made the original diagnosis” Saying Yes to Japan pg 123

“I admit that I did not tell Mrs. Makino the truth [about her cancer]. But that is because I thought she would experience terrible shock if I did”  The statement that caused to rule in favour of a doctor whose deliberate misdiagnosis of gallstones caused the death of Makino Kazuko due to delayed treatment. Saying Yes to Japan pg 123

“Doctors in Japan are granted lifetime licences to practice. A physician’s licence never needs renewal, there is no continuing medical education requirement for keeping a license current, and a license allows doctors to practice procedures with which they have no practical experience” Saying Yes to Japan pg 125

“medical school professors literally dictate to which hospitals experienced physicians will be transferred…hospitals must accept the doctors ‘alloted’ to them; disciplining or firing underperforming or otherwise undesirable physicians is likely to displease the medical school mandarins” Saying Yes to Japan pg 125/126

“Industry insiders say Japan has the highest level of hospital-acquired infections of any advanced nation” Saying Yes to Japan pg 131

“Because hospitals and clinics in Japan have a strong financial incentive to provide more services and drugs than necessary, they often do. That’s why Japan, with only two percent of the world’s population, consumes 16 percent of the world’s pharmaceuticals” Saying Yes to Japan pg 134

“How does one describe a financial environment where criminals collect legitimate business debts, companies borrow freely regardless of their ability to repay, profit is meaningless, and banks are unable to tell whether or not they are solvent?” Saying Yes to Japan, pg 34

“It often makes sense for clients to employ the yakuza rather than attorneys. Yakuza debt collection agents offer better trade skills and lower costs than their attorney counterparts, because shaking down debtors is a pillar of their business, not a mere sideline. Also, their rates are based on performance, unlike lawyers, who charge a fixed fee regardless of outcome” pg 31

“The risk-reward relationship in Japan is broken… People who follow low-risk career paths can often achieve high returns… It’s backwards from a normal free market economy” entrepreneur Ito Joichi in Saying Yes to Japan pg 24

“In Japan, systems are designed to be foolproof, meaning they’re expensive to build- and disaster strikes if anything goes wrong. It’s exactly the opposite in the United States. Risk management there doesn’t mean building systems on the premise that problems won’t occur, but rather designing them so you can respond immediately when something goes wrong” Anzai Takashi, President of IY Bank, quoted in Saying Yes to Japan, pg 25

“‘May I have that dressing on the side rather than on the salad?’…’Ummm…Let me ask the chef’… Several minutes later she returned.’Yes, you may,’ she reported to the bemused couple’ pg 25

 “[Japan has] standardized, one-size-fits-all services offered in assembly line fashion. The focus is on proscribed roles, homogeneity, uniform quality and speed…In short, a manufacturing model” pg 25

“visit any large electronics or computer retailer…to get a taste of what Japanese-style ‘service’ really means. You’ll find ten polite but unknowledgeable sales associates who merely relay customer questions to one overwhelmed employee who actually understands the merchandise” pg 26-27

“The case of three-year-old Kishimoto Daiki…is not unusual in Japan’s health care sector. National television reported the cause as physicians failing to change gowns or even to wash hands between patient interactions” pg 20

“A consumer asked to test drive a used car and was matter-of-factly informed by the salesman that test drives…were permitted only after the customer agreed to purchase the vehicle” pg 19

“a self-employed multimillionaire businessman…applied to a bank for a mortgage loan to purchase a home, but the bank refused, citing an ‘inadequate employment record'” pg 19

“Overseas customers delighted with Japan’s manufactured exports should feel fortunate the nation doesn’t send its health care, housing or financial services abroad… Counterintuitive as it may seem, people living in Japan are dramatically- sometimes dangerously- underserved by professionals providing these kinds of complex services” Saying Yes to Japan pg 8

“Consumers may enjoy tea in attractive cups, toys for the kids and flowers for the wife when visiting a real estate brokerage, but when the agent negotiating their home purchase also receives compensation from the seller for the same transaction, who looks out for the customer’s interests” pg 8

“Japan’s service economy is afflicted with a grave problem: businesses offer elaborate and trivial, even meaningless, services in areas where consumers are capable of helping themselves, while failing to provide quality services in areas where consumers require expert assistance” pg 14

“seeing a postal savings system employee visit an elderly widow at home to renew a time deposit and save her the trouble of visiting a post office seems heartwarming- until one realizes that the poor woman was sold a financial instrument paying the yen equivalent of $15 annually on a $25,000 deposit” pg 19


  Scary Japanese hospitals Quote of the Day « Quote Japan wrote @

[…] deliberate misdiagnosis of gallstones caused the death of Makino Kazuko due to delayed treatment. Saying Yes to Japan pg […]

[…] looking to avoid conflict… with the colleague who made the original diagnosis” Saying Yes to Japan pg 123. Another debunking of cultural explanations for bad service in Japan, to go along with my […]

[…] in 8- The number of hospitals accredited by the Japan Council for Quality Health Care, according to Saying Yes to Japan pg […]

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