Dr. Claude-Yves Charron and Mrs. Charron, Misa Hirai Interviewee: Dr. Claude-Yves Charron Vice-Rector, University of Quebec at Montreal （Date: August 30, 2007; Place: Dr. Charron's Residence, Fontainebleau, Blainville; Interviewer/Writer: Takahiro Miyao）
I am fortunate to have been acquainted with Dr. and Mrs. Charron for several years now, and once worked with them to organize a joint symposium on Quebec-Japan relations at UQAM in 2003. This time I enjoyed joining them at their new home in a beautiful community just outside the city, and interviewing Dr. Sharron to learn from his insight into challenges for Quebec business in Japan.
Summary of Dr. Charron’s Interview
There seem to be a couple of reasons why Quebec companies are not doing business with their Japanese counterparts, at least as much as they should. Aside from really large global businesses, relatively small companies in Quebec are not interested in a far distant region like Asia in the first place, and could only be attracted to rapidly growing economies such as China and India. Furthermore, if they ever get interested in doing business in Asia, they would prefer to engage in a highly profitable project, however risky it might be, to overcome costly entry barriers. Then, China or India might look much more promising than Japan. In other words, Japan is just not in the radar of small business in Quebec.
Yet another reason why there is not much business as it should be between Quebec and Japan is a big difference in negotiation style. It is customary on the part of Quebec companies to take tough stance with strong demands at the beginning of their negotiations, whereas the almost opposite stance is normally taken by Japanese companies. Therefore, Japanese negotiators, who are not accustomed to the Quebec style of negotiation, tend to think that their initial difference with their counterpart would be too big to overcome and thus give up their negotiations.
All this is very unfortunate, because Japan should be a place where Quebec companies could do business well, at least in the long run. Japan is a well developed society with a very large domestic market, where consumers are similar to their counterparts in Quebec in terms of income and taste. Therefore, we need to collect, disseminate, and exchange as much information as possible to inform each other of business opportunities as well as risks. References: Curriculum Vitae: Claude-Yves Charron: http://www.mic.unisi.ch/charron_cv_en_edited.pdf "2003 GLOCOM Montreal Forum Summary" Jointly organized by Claude-Yves Charron & Takahiro Miyao http://www.glocom.org/special_topics/activity_rep/20031215_miyao_mf/ (Written by T. Miyao) ------------------------------------------------------------- クロード・イヴ・シャロン博士 ケベック大学モントリオール校副学長 （2007年8月30日、シャロン博士夫妻宅にて；聞き手：宮尾尊弘）