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5 November 2018

Japan Invests In Service Industry, Reshaping Its Legendary Hospitality

  • Japan Invests In Service Industry, Reshaping Its Legendary HospitalityJapan Invests In Service Industry, Reshaping Its Legendary Hospitality

Japan's capital expenditure boom is shifting to the services sector, stirring fears that self-checkout systems and software will take the human touch out of omotenashi, the country's vaunted commitment to hospitality.

The economic forces at work are undeniable. The working-age population is forecast to shrink by about a third in the next half century, and companies simply cannot hire enough workers.

Turning to automation raises productivity and removes a bottleneck to economic growth - but marks a retreat from a services-oriented culture where the customer is king.

"The level of omotenashi depends on where you shop, but regardless, we place a lot of emphasis on face-to-face interaction," Naoki Kobayashi, 52, a sales manager at a telecommunications company, said after buying drinks from a store in northern Tokyo that had no staff. "We also have a shrinking population, so I can understand why some retailers have to change."

East Japan Railway Co worked with information technology consultancy Signpost Co to set up the store last month at a train station on a popular commuter line.

Read the full article at reuters.com


FinanceSales & MarketingLodging IndustryAsia PacificJapan

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